Arrow-right Camera


NASCAR prayer draws laughter

Auto racing: A Baptist preacher has revved up a NASCAR crowd with his high-powered invocation before the Nationwide race in Nashville, Tenn.

Pastor Joe Nelms (above) of the Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tenn., gave thanks Saturday night for the race cars, the race teams, the tires and “my smoking hot wife, Lisa.” He also thanked the Lord for his two children, Eli and Emma, “or as we like to call them, ‘The Little E’s.”

In a booming voice, Nelms also invoked the Darrell Waltrip phrase the ex-driver uses at the start of televised races, “Boogity Boogity Boogity,” drawing cheers from the crowd.

“I tried to spice it up a little,” Nelms said Monday.

Nelms, 35, pastor at “a small country church,” said he believed it was appropriate to have a little fun with the invocation.

“I put in some driver lingo,” he said from Destin, Fla., where he was on vacation. “The Bible says laughter is like a medicine, and I wanted people to see that side of religion.”

Replays of the invocation were posted on YouTube and he was deluged Monday with requests for interviews.

He did at least 12 while his 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter frolicked on the Gulf Coast beach.

“I had no idea it’d get this reaction,” said Nelms.

Associated Press

Ducks can’t escape attention

College football: Even if Willie Lyles had never come along, Oregon would be receiving a lot of the attention at Pac-12 media day today in Los Angeles.

The Ducks are coming off an appearance in the BCS championship game, a 12-1 season and two straight conference championships.

But questions about how Oregon and coach Chip Kelly expect to build on recent success will no doubt be replaced by questions about the Ducks’ relationship with Lyles.

The Ducks paid Lyles of Houston-based Complete Scouting Services $25,000 last year, purportedly for information about prep athletes for the 2010 recruiting class. But when Oregon released Lyles’ scouting report, it mostly included players who had already signed letters of intent in 2009.

Associated Press