Author Archives: rstofel

About rstofel

Robert is the award winning author of the Survival Notes series published by Paulist Press.

Excerpt of Survival Notes for Race Fans

Excerpt of Survival Notes for Race Fans



Introduction to Survival Notes for Race Fans:

At the age of eight I grasped the fence at Talladega watching Bobby Isaac, Darrell Waltrip, the Allison brothers, and King Richard Petty battling it out around the 2.66 mile track. This was back in the day when a child could get close to the fence and not have to worry about being chased away by a policeman. And I stood there with my fingers clenching the fence the way a bird grips a power line, watching the action while my father sat behind me in the grandstands. I was accustomed to attending Saturday night racing at the Nashville Fairgrounds, but going to Talladega was different.

The pack of cars would roar by and disappear around turn four, and then they’d come rushing off turn two and down the backstretch. You could eat a hotdog before they rounded the track. And we were too poor to buy tickets for the front-stretch, so we huddled with the marginalized and the people who loved racing as much as they did their beer. And we hollered, waved our ball caps, and whistled with reverence at the pack of cars as if our cheering would make them go faster. If our favorite driver wrecked or blew an engine, we’d slump in our seats as if all hope in the world went with them into the garage area.

A lot has changed in NASCAR over the years. A kid can no longer clench the fence and feel the rush of wind on his face. Admission prices have skyrocketed. The cars are faster and more sophisticated. The wrecks seem more violent. But our love for NASCAR hasn’t changed. We still cheer and whistle at the pack of cars as they roar around the speedway, but the cheers are louder. Attendance has grown astronomically since the ’70s, and my love for motorsports hasn’t waned.

So writing this book was a labor of love and passion. Survival Notes for Race Fans are devotionals that take the reader inside the world of NASCAR to find inspiration for the sacred race of life. Gently drawing upon the race of life metaphor, each devotional ties the spiritual life with some aspect of motorsports and each devotional has a quote from drivers, crew chiefs and other diplomats of racing. The result is a power packed devotional book that will lift your soul and have you roaring into the race of each daily grind. Enjoy!