Letters To The Editor – March 2, 2011

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Perform It With Spirit!

Add me to the list of subscribers who don’t like the way rockers slaughter the national anthem. Lets hear it the way it was written and performed with spirit. I watched the NASCAR races over the weekend [at Daytona] and heard it butchered three times.

This seems typical of sports venues and that is too bad. I would like to hear the anthem performed by a military, college or top high school band and have the fans sing along if they wished.

Ron Norman, Speedway, Ind.

Unhappy Member

I am amazed that the AARP has the audacity to use my membership dues/dollars to sponsor a race car. AARP is a lobbying group to bring the issues and concerns of senior citizens to the attention of the folks in Washington. AARP dues dollars should not be used to sponsor race teams.

The graphics on the No. 24 car reference ending hunger. If the AARP would have donated the sponsorship funds to a group like Harvesters, that would have a direct and immediate affect on hunger.

If anybody thinks race cars can end hunger in the world you must also believe the earth is flat. Buying a consumer product, we expect a portion of that purchase price to be used in advertising and sponsorships, but a lobbying group using its members dues to sponsor a race car?

So, the next time I’m hungry, do I call the AARP or do I call Jeff Gordon?

Paul Comerford, Blue Springs, Mo.

Remembring Dale & Vuky

Feb. 18 brought many comparisons of the impact of Dale Earnhardt’s death to other major catastrophic events. While I personally don’t feel it compares to Sept. 11, the space shuttle disaster, etc., I was shocked and will always remember the moment when his death was announced.

I was not an Earnhardt fan, but felt a tremendous loss after his death. He seemed bigger than life. Older race fans remember another race car driver’s death at a time when that driver seemed to be immortal.

His death also impacted racing immensely. I remember where I was and what I was doing when a very emotional announcer [probably Sid Collins] announced that the great Bill Vukovich was dead. This signaled the beginning of the end for AAA sanctioning of auto racing.

Jim Eiland, Taft, Calif.

God Showed Bayne The Way

The 53rd running of the Daytona 500 is in the record books and it just might go down as one of the most surprising finishes ever with a rather unknown 20-year-old Trevor Bayne crossing the finish line first to become the youngest driver ever to capture the Great American Race.

I call it a David and Goliath story. A young man, whom most have never heard of, is called up to do battle against NASCAR’s toughest competitors and most likely never even factored in as a potential winner.

However, his training from a young age prepared Bayne to step into the Wood Brothers machine with confidence and conviction that he too could be victorious as he faced his fiercest opponents. You see, Bayne knew he had a power even larger than his Ford motor steering his path.

Awestruck, Bayne stood on the podium in victory lane thanks to Jesus Christ. At this moment, I knew that this kid was different. To be bold and profess his faith in front of millions of fans makes Bayne a winner in my book and one who could make a big impact on our sport.

Race drivers and athletes in general are role models for millions of fans. At the end of every competition what should matter most in life is the character one displays as the game is played, not whether you win or lose. There are thousands of races to be won or lost, but there is only one race at the end of life that really matters how you finish.

Bayne humbly stood in victory lane thanks to the One who set his path and gave him a purpose in life. Yes, Bayne is a talented young race driver who we’ll see in victory lane many times most likely.

But more importantly he is a witness for God’s love and his real purpose is about giving hope to those who have no hope and for instilling a dream to those who forgot how to dream.

Lori Manes Cutter, Apple Valley, Minn.

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