Hiding our light under a bushel basket.

 
Mark 4: recorded the parable Jesus told about hiding our light under a basket. 21:He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?

Jesus was talking about sharing the light of his teachings with all.

But the parable can be applied to other activities in our life.

I recently read an article in the local news about 5 people who were shot over an incident at an illegal street race.

It saddens me that we have so many people involved in illegal street racing in our community and that it brings out the bad side of so many.

There is no reason why we should have illegal street racing in Memphis.

We have some of the most modern motorsports facilities in the nation available for anyone and everyone who feels the need to test their need for speed.

Just about every form of motorsports you would want can be found within the metro Memphis area.

Memphis International Raceway has a world-class drag strip and has weekly test and tune sessions.

ANYONE can bring their car to one of these sessions and as long as they meet safety standards they can run down the strip as many times as they please.

The facility has both SCCA and NASA events on the road course where3 you can compete either against the clock or other drivers to test your skill.

Each year the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience males several stops at MIR where you can pay your fee, take a class and then do a ride-along or even drive a Cup style stock car on the 3/4 mile oval.

The Memphis area is home to Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis.

Opening in 1949 it is one of the oldest continuously operating tracks in the nation.

A facility where you can either watch some of the best local and national drivers compete.

Or you could build your own car and compete.

Still, there is more as there is over half a dozen karting track within 2 hours of Memphis.

We have so many options when it comes to motorsports, yet outside our group, no one knows about them.

We do not share our sport with others as fans of other sports often do.

We keep our light hidden under a basket.

The only exposure that many in the city see of motorsports is the aforementioned article about the illegal street race and shooting.

Many see motorsports as a lower-class white-only sport.

Little do they know just how diverse the sport is these days.

How much minority participation there is in the sport.

How quickly the A.A. community is taking to the sport.

I have a close friend who posted on the back of his car proudly for all to see “The Fastest Black Man on Dirt”

Women compete regularly head to head with men and many times beat them.

We even had transgender drivers in the Memphis area long before the transgender movement we see today.

So many youths today do not even know we have a motorsports community.

In years past they would gather around the house in the neighborhood with the race car and when the weekend came along would pile into the back of a station wagon to watch that car compete.

We have done a poor job of promoting our sport in the Memphis community.

We must do better for the sport to continue to grow in the future.

We cannot allow stories such as the one about the illegal street race and shooting to be the image the rest of the community has of our sport.

We must let our light shine brightly and not hide it under a basket.
Rick Johnson
Memphis Racing History

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