Mar 14, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT
On the surface, NASCAR – and other forms of motorsports, for that matter – and the hit TV show American Idol have very little in common.
But in reality, the two shows have recently become linked by faith – according to MyFoxCarolina.com – as the Motor Racing Outreach organization has extended its ministerial effort from motorsports to Idol contestants.
“Motor Racing Outreach is an organization that provides the pastoral care, church services if you will, to the NASCAR community,” MRO president and CEO Billy Mauldin told the Charlotte-based TV station.
Based upon all the years of good work MRO, also based in the Charlotte area, has done within the NASCAR and motorsports communities, Mauldin recently became a spiritual advisor to American Idol contestants, as well.
Former Fox Sports president David Hill, who now also oversees most of the network’s overall programming including American Idol, reached out to Mauldin to help with the show, to minister both to those who advance as well as those who suffer defeat and do not advance.
“When David first called us about it, he said, “Keep this to yourself for right now,”” said Mauldin. “So, we couldn’t really talk to a lot of people. So, I had to just sort of rely on research on the Internet and stuff to try to get a feel for what it’s like for contestants that have been on the show in the past.”
Mauldin quickly realized that overseeing his NASCAR and motorsports flock of believers isn’t all that much different than ministering to those who appear on the show.
“I felt like I was with a lot of the young drivers in NASCAR that first get their big break, whether it’s Nationwide or Cup,” he said. “And you’re excited; you know your dreams are alive.”
NASCAR team owner, MRO board member and TV analyst Phil Parsons endorses Mauldin’s and the organization’s efforts with Idol.
“Personally, I thought it was a great idea,” Parsons said. “It’s very similar to what a young race car driver goes through. It’s the most important thing in the world for them to make it in this sport. The most important thing for the singers is to make it on that national, international stage.”
Click on the link above to see the MRO-Idol connection.
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