Aug 15, 2012

Have you ever seen the Kansas City Alliance Raceway Ministries (KCARM) volunteers on a Kansas Speedway race weekend and wonder what they do?

KCARM, which was formed shortly before Kansas Speedway’s inaugural season, provides numerous services to race fans throughout a race weekend and also assists Kansas Speedway staff in several areas to help provide the best guest experience in motorsports.

Between 30-50 KCARM volunteers work during a typical Kansas Speedway race weekend and one of the places most fans see KCARM volunteers is at “ministry tent” locations, which are located in the Blue Ox Campgrounds and are open 24 hours a day. These locations provide campers a place to meet, a resource for information and even offer transportation assistance. The volunteers also provide entertainment for the kids, hosting a pinewood derby and hot wheels tournament.

On Sunday mornings, pastors in the KCARM help lead and coordinate worship services throughout the Kansas Speedway property for fans and workers.

In addition to their work in these locations, KCARM volunteers also assist Kansas Speedway staff by handling the transportation needs of family and loved ones of NASCAR drivers and officials to the University of Kansas Hospital should the need arise throughout the weekend. The chaplains are also there to help comfort the families during these times.

The volunteers also provide transportation from the Grandstand first aid stations and infield care center to vehicles after fans receive treatment.

Another area that race fans have seen KCARM volunteers on a consistent basis is in Information Booths, behind the wheel of ADA carts and as part of tram crews. In addition, KCARM volunteers help coordinate and supervise other organizations that work in Guest Services and also help with the logistics of staffing the many other volunteers that are needed to work during race weekends.

KCARM also assists Kansas Speedway staff in arranging to help find someone to lead pre-race prayers.
Now you know what they do, let’s fill you in on how they got started.

A local pastor, Cole Cochran (he was the pastor of Haven Baptist Church at the time), began to hear about a speedway “joining the neighborhood.” Cochran began asking lots of questions of the leaders in his faith group first locally and then nationally about if they were going to do anything.

Those questions led to a meeting.

A gentleman by the name of Frank Stark had started a ministry that has evolved into the National Fellowship of Raceway Ministries (NFRM). Stark has a long relationship with Grant Lynch, Talladega Superspeedway.  At a national meeting, Stark arranged for a meeting between Lynch, Cochran and another minister, Mark Joseph, which led to another meeting with former Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

KCARM is a faith-based ministry to the fans and staff at the Kansas Speedway.  To be a part of the organization, contact Linda Kinder, 913.261.9300.