'Pastor learns use of safety equipment'

As cars are being built for the Hornet racing division at Champion Motor Speedway, area pastors are getting excited for the Faster Pastor Charity Challenge to take place June 14.

Champion Motor Speedway is offering all pastors of the community to try their hands at the wheel of a racecar. The Faster Pastor Charity Challenge may be the first race of its kind anywhere. The winner receives $1,000 for his/her church.

CMS General Manager Jeb Onweiler discussed his plan for having pastors and their congregations be more active in a family-oriented atmosphere.

"I want to bring in new race fans," Onweiler said. "I want more families in the grandstands and I want them to feel like they're in a safe environment. Champion Motor Speedway is an exciting, positive place to be on Saturday nights."

On Tuesday afternoon, Rev. Ben Fleming of Silver Hills Community Church, met Onweiler at the track for a quick lesson on how to use the five-point restraint system in the car and to familiarize himself on how to get in and out of the car. The doors are welded shut.

"So how do I do this?," Fleming asked Onweiler.

Onweiler demonstrated the easiest method, and reminded him not to place feet into the seat, as it may cause injury.

"OK, so, this leg up and over the door, put my hand on the steering wheel for balance, then bring up the other leg, and slowly lower myself in. Right?" Fleming asked as he performed each step.

"Right," Onweiler said.

After getting buckled in and learning how to tighten the straps against his body for security, Fleming was allowed to start the engine and take four test laps at low speed.

"That was fun," Fleming said with a big smile on his face. "I can't wait for this race."

Onweiler further described the various racing divisions scheduled to participate in this year's program at the track. Many activities are being added to entice families, as well as entertain children when cars are not active on the track.

IF YOU GO

What: Faster Pastor Charity Challenge

When: June 14

Where: Champion Motor Speedway on Race Track Road, off Bigelow via Snyder Avenue

Call: 884-3045, 267-0505

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