Continuing a glimpse into SPEEDWEEKS, I have wrapped a few days into this post. Friday started with a bang, as the crunch was on to complete deals for the Bud Shootout activities. The biggest was a sampling contract that we literally had 3 days to draft, negotiate and execute before the benefits were began Sat morning. Signatures we exchanged late Friday and our on site camping guests were pleased, as it provided them with a sampling of Old Spice shower products for the upcoming days. During the madness of the day, I snuck away with my family for a few minutes to visit the Budweiser Clydesdales. My new friend, Hans, travels with the horses and their Dalmatian, Barley, 320 days per year. It was neat to be so close to these amazing animals….Mackenzie especially liked going into the stalls with this huge horses!

 

Next up, the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday. Great weather greeted us and the night concluded with a fantastic finish on the track. The ARCA race before the main event was well attended, but, as expected, was a bit of a demolition derby. I did not have any responsibilities during the day, so Amanda and I attended most of the race, but had to watch the finish from home, due to a couple of sick little girls. We spotted Jared from Subway, along with some RoushFenway racing folks during the race. The Shootout is the first change to see some of the change for the upcoming season and this year was no exception. Getting used to all the driver, number, sponsor and team changes will take some time, but here are a few of the most notable – Tony Stewart in the #14; Mark Martin in the #5; Casey Mears in the #07; Clint Bowyer in the #33; Joey Lagano in the #20; Bobby Labonte in the #96….and on and on and on…

 

Sunday was reserved for church and watching the Daytona 500 qualifying on TV. It’s great to see EGR driver Martin Truex, Jr. in the #1 on the pole, but also thrilling to see Daytona Beach resident, Mark Martin, on the outside pole. Looks like we are in for some surprises and new faces during the upcoming season!

 

Monday and Tuesday were pretty quiet on the track, but it seemed that the last minute deals and ticket sales were non-stop. A few track visits, combined with meeting on projects and contract completion for the weekend were the main highlights…Nothing too exciting there, but tons of work for sure. Wednesday will bring the start of a flurry of activity culminating with The Great American Race on Sunday!

 

Striving for The Best! -mwr

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Sunday I had the amazing opportunity to attend SuperBowl XLIII. Settling into my seat, I quickly realized I was sitting next to law school classmate whom I’d not seen since graduation day. We talked for a while and he said something to me that many people have said before…”Man, you have a very cool job!” I have been blessed with a great career opportunity and while running around today (trying to think of a blog topic), I thought one or two of you may be interested in a glimpse of what a sports and entertainment lawyer does on a daily basis. I will certainly get back to the “regular” topics of this blog, but let’s see how this goes for a few days during this celebration of motorsports we like to call “SPEEDWEEKS”…

 

Driving past the Speedway today, you can’t help but notice the sea of color that has descended upon the town – race team haulers, thousands of campers, souvenir trailers and displays from corporate America galore. You can feel the excitement in the air and know that SPEEDWEEKS is upon us! In the office (corporate headquarters for ISC and NASCAR) there are new faces mixed in with the regulars… out of town coworkers have also descended on Daytona Beach. Today was filled with scores of last minute contracts and contract changes, all which need to be ready by Saturday and the Budweiser Shootout event. By 12:30 our team had turned out at least 20 contracts or revisions to contracts.

 

Lunch consists of a drive through and a visit to the Worlds Center of Racing. I spent some time helping my friends at Daytona “place” the large jumbotron units located outside the track (making sure we conform with the City sign codes). Star at turn 1, then a trip through the new tunnel, the infield and over to turn 4, right next to the amazing Budweiser Clysdales. Then it was off to a development meeting to discuss the projects and back to the office for a conference call, negotiation of a few remaining deals and SPEEDWEEKS sponsorship issues.

 

Striving for The Best! – mwr

 

Firstly, you do have a very intriguing job, something to look forward to, unlike my lousy job. You have real responsibility. The only thing I have to worry about is poppy seeds on a bagel. I am in middle management at Einstein Bagels. As you climb seamlessly up the never ending corporate ladder, I struggle to get out of this god forsaken shopping plaza! Before Einstein’s I worked as night shift manager at Big Lots. It was the worst 7 years of my life. And unlike you I came home to screaming children and a depressed nag happy wife. Sometimes I feel like the walls are closing in on me. Sorry for the rant, but how do you do it? Honestly I’m struggling to keep afloat over here, and you are getting to brag about your great job to your old buddy at the Super Bowl!! Are you kidding!! I truly envy you, and your amazing life!! Don’t get me wrong I know you have worked for and deserve everything you have. I just want some answers as to how you go about getting all the great aspects of your life. Keep up the great blogging. Your friend, Charlie.

 

Ed. Note – I mistakenly deleted this post, so I am reposting it and the main comment for you to read and enjoy. -mwr

Today is an historic day in the life of America. Regardless of your political affiliation or feelings about an election outcome, as Americans we must honor our government and the leader of this land. We must not minimize our duty, responsibility and even respect to those in authority.  It is an unbelievable sight to watch this very peaceful passage of power every 4 or 8 years. Though the campaign trail may at times feel like a war zone, there were no shots fired, political coups or unnecessary violence leading up to this transition. We are blessed to live in the United States of American and today we should clearly remember that fact.

 

As Americans, we have a duty to do the following:

1)       Support Your President. This means you must stand behind the man who is in authority over this country. (Romans 13:1-7) You do not have to support each policy or action, but supporting the office of the President is critical to the strength of America.

2)       Pray for Your Government and Its Leaders. Take time each day to thank God for this county and ask Him to give supernatural guidance, wisdom and direction to the leaders placed in power.  

3)       Get Involved and Make Your Voice Heard. Though the election is over, policies and decisions will be made that directly affect you. It is up to us to let you government know how you feel and what you believe.

 

I thank God that I am a citizen of the United States of America. This is the greatest country on earth and on this inauguration day, I am proud to be an American.

 

Striving for The Best! –mwr

The search for significance is a lifelong journey. No matter what your background, socio economic status, political leaning or any other factor, every person, on some level searches for significance in their life.  Countless books, sermons, speeches and other materials have been prepared on this subject alone. My favorite definition is “the quality of being significant or having a meaning.” We all want to live a life that is more than a meaningless existence. The exact answer is a very personal one and will be different for every person, but I believe you must fulfill the following 3 areas to personally accomplish your lifelong exploration for significance:

 

Spiritual Significance – Every person has a “God shaped hole” in their being. There are countless religions and beliefs looking to a higher power and answers to this life. There are even “unbeliefs,” but in and of themselves they are acknowledging the presence of something or someone. The search for significance begins and ends with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. All the other factors revolve around this critical threshold.

Emotional Significance – Being tied to others on an emotional level will complete your search. I thought my life was complete before my girls….and then they arrived. Your marriage, your parental bond (both with your parents or figures and with your own children), and those very special friendship bonds reserved for only the closest friends are some of the areas where we develop emotional significance.

Physical Significance – Humans crave touch. As babies we are immediately cradled and held. As kids, a hug and kiss from a parent means the world. As teenagers, a high 5 from your coach, hug from your parents or even holding the hand of your “first love” are important. As adults, touch usually means comfort, welcome and safety. Physical significance is also achieved via accomplishments such as contests, sports, accolades, raising your family, education and professional development.

 

The success of your life will ultimately be determined by how your resolve these three important areas. My daily walk is consumed by becoming a WORLDSHAKER. For me that means i) being the best husband, father, son, brother and person I can be; ii) working with others (especially teenagers) to help them realize their full potential; iii) making a professional impact through opportunity, drive, training and skill; iv) leaving an indelible positive mark on this earth; and v) doing something that is bigger than me!

 

Striving for The Best! –mwr

 

Ed. Note – This may be my most difficult post to date. It literally took weeks to develop these seemingly simple thoughts. I hope it will begin a string of comments below for our readers to exchange thoughts and ideas.

I normally skim Tim Steven’s blog each day to see what he is thinking. He is a great writer and always has great things to say. His post on January 9, 2009 entitled “Teenage Boys in Tight Girl Pants…Not Cool” and accompanying video is great. Since I do so much work with teenagers, the title immediately caught my attention! What a way to open up a worship service in this way was super creative and sounds like it was very effective. Here is the accompanying video he posted. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Striving for The Best! -mwr

Our church, Calvary Christian Center, has embarked on a 21 day corporate fast during the month of January, joining many other congregations across the country, like Free Chapel (Gainsville, GA). Most people I know are embarking on the Daniel Fast, though several have undertaken a full fast (water only) or a liquid fast. The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, referenced in the Bible in Daniel 1:8-16 (10 day fast) and Chapter 10 (21 day fast). Boiled down to its simplest form, it is a physical sacrifice to God by foregoing “choice foods” and eating fruits and vegetables and drinking water. Most have extended the list of included foods to whole grains and nuts, as well as 100% fruit juice, but definitely staying away from all meats, dairy, sugar, and processed foods.

 

The purpose of the fast is to separate yourself from the “ordinary” and use this time to draw closer to God. It is accompanied by prayer and a desire to seek Gods will for your life; however, most see physical health benefits and even weight loss as a positive side effect. My favorite part of the Biblical account of this fast is Daniel 10:12, when the Angel tells Daniel that Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”

 

I have taken hold to this scripture for 2009 and believe that God will honor this time of prayer and fasting. So far, this is one of the harder Fasts I have done. I was mentally and spiritually prepared for it, but for some reason it has been difficult. I think it is because I’m believing God for some very big things in 2009. I wrote down a list of things I want to see God do and pray over them every day. I believe that God has heard my prayers “since the day I set my mind to gain understanding and humbled myself” through this fast.

 

If you have never fasted before, I would encourage you to look into it and take the plunge, even if for three or seven days. Jentezen Frankiln wrote a NY Times best selling book entitled “Fasting,” which is a great resource for those with questions. Though it may be difficult, most find that after a Fast they are spiritually, physically and mentally stronger. In the coming days, I’ll do my best to share my thoughts during this fasting journey. I’m on day 9 and know that good things are in store. God will reward the faithful and He hears the prayers prayed as we strive to get closer!

I never thought mentioning a celebrity or two would attract so many hits. Yesterday, this blog had the most single day hits in its short history. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I have some good posts coming, so stay tuned in 2009. Much of the next few months you will read about my experiences and involvement with the mammoth event in Daytona Beach we call “SPEEDWEEKS.”  Life will be fun, fast and furious. So, get in, buckle up and enjoy the ride. In the mean time, here are a few pics of my “friends,” Trisha Yearwood (2008), Richard Petty (2006 in WA) and current Steeler (former Jaguar) Byron Leftwich (2004).

Have an awesome day today and make the most out of what is before you!!

 

 

 

Striving for The Best! –mwr