Michael McDowell, the driver of the #98 K-LOVE/Curb Records Ford Fusion car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the #18 Toyota Camry car in the Nationwide Series, has realized that God has a mission for him each day both on and off the racetrack. “I know why I’m here,” he said. “I know I’ve been called to be in this sport, to help disciple the young guys coming up, and share my faith at our events...the racing is just the platform I have.”
Most recently, Michael McDowell raced the #18 K-LOVE car to a second place finish at the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 on August 17th in Lexington, Ohio. Sporting the K-LOVE logo on his cars is an answer to prayer for Michael. “The K-LOVE relationship coming together is something I have been praying for years,” he said. “I prayed that God would partner me with people who were like minded.”
Michael has also teamed up with fellow racers Josh Wise and Blake Koch to take his mission off the track as the three of them do triathlons around the world. Their uniforms sport the logo of "Revival of Detroit" to raise awareness and funds for the K-LOVE Hope Center, aimed at meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the declining city. Learn more about the Hope Center at www.klove.com/hopecenter.
Michael started racing with NASCAR in 2007 and off the track is a husband, a father, and dedicated follower of Christ. Growing up in a non-Christian home, Michael said he never spent much time in church. “I never went to church for anything other than weddings and funerals,” he says. “There was not even a Bible in my house. I always felt God’s presence but I never knew what it meant.” After the death of his influential friend Ron Huber, Michael began to think about life after this world. “A friend of mine asked me at Ron’s funeral if I thought he was in heaven,” recalled Michael. “God used that question to stir things up in my life. After being invited to church with my wife’s Aunt and Uncle, I accepted Christ as my savior. I really saw God’s spirit working through people, who lived out their Christianity. God revealed himself through those people.”
After Michael became a Christian, parts of his old life began to slowly fade away. “Early in my walk, there were a lot of things that I didn’t want to give up,” he reflected. Michael, who grew up listening to rap music, remembers one day listening to Eminem and for the first time really hearing the lyrics. “I remember this thought going through my head saying ‘this isn't who I am, this isn't what I support,’” he recalled. “I took the CD and threw it out the window, and from that day forward, I started listening to Christian music.” Michael realized that experience was part of God challenging him in his walk, “The music was just one of those layers that God removed from me,” he says. “What we allow affects our minds; the more we filter what comes in, the more it’s easier it is to live out in truth.”
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What we allow affects our minds; the more we filter what comes in, the easier it is to live out in truth.