American Idol has NASCAR-like faith-based connection through Motor Racing Outreach

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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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Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”