After experiencing the thrill of racing for the first time during last year¿s Faster Pastor special event, Reverend Buddy Compton is back on the track spreading the gospel as a regular competitor in the 10-week Summer Shootout Series at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.

Ordained in 1998, the 58-year-old Compton and members of his Pine Grove United Methodist Church travel to Lowe¿s Motor Speedway from Albemarle each Tuesday night for the Summer Shootout Series. They spread their message through a type of ministry known as ¿faith sharing.¿ Members of the congregation distribute fan guides and other literature in the pit area and to spectators as they enter the track.

¿It¿s a very non-threatening way to share the gospel,¿ said Compton. ¿They have a right to accept it or reject it.¿

In his eighth year of attending the Summer Shootout Series, Compton decided to increase his level of participation by climbing behind the wheel of a Thunder Roadster.

¿I have enjoyed meeting all of the people here at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway, working with Motor Racing Outreach and building good relationships,¿ Compton stated. ¿But there was something missing. There was one part of the relationship that I wasn¿t getting.¿

Compton toyed with the idea of buying a race car. While talking with a 10-year-old Bandolero driver and his father during a Summer Shootout event last year, Compton asked them to pray for his ministry. He then mentioned his need to get more involved and his desire to buy a car.

¿The little boy grabbed me by the pants and said, ¿If you buy one of them, you become one of us,¿¿ Compton recalled. ¿That was a very powerful statement because since I bought the car, doors of opportunity have opened for me to share with people.¿

Compton is a part of Methodist Motorsports Evangelism, a group of racers whose goal is to ¿encourage, promote and assist persons in becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.¿

In addition to Compton¿s Thunder Roadster, Methodist Motorsports Evangelism is associated with three Legends Cars and two Bandoleros that participate in the Summer Shootout Series.

Compton plans to compete in each of the remaining series events, ¿the good Lord willing.¿

¿I may not need to be out there. There are a lot of cars that are a whole lot faster,¿ Compton commented. ¿But I¿ve received a blessing just by getting involved in the Shootout and with the people at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway and 600 Racing.¿

Lowe¿s Motor Speedway¿s Summer Shootout Series continues every Tuesday night through Aug. 12 featuring three classes of Legends Car racing, three divisions of Bandoleros competition and the Thunder Roadsters. Gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:30 pm. Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m.

Adult tickets are just $5 with children 6-12 admitted for $3 and kids under 6 free. Tickets are available in advance from the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or at Gates 4 and 5A the night of the event. Parking is free.