By Jennifer Johnson
Some people are missionaries in their own countries, sometimes moving to an urban area and putting down roots in new neighborhoods. Others are missionaries to countries far away, where they speak a different language and learn to love new foods. David Storvick is a missionary, too; although he hasn’t left his home in Indianapolis, he’s ministering to a specific group with its own culture and customs—race car drivers.
“I spent the first half of my life as an engineer,” Storvick says. “I enjoyed that work, but after I got into racing in 1999 and started working as a mechanic, I learned about the IndyCar Ministry and began to volunteer. The league began to grow, I began to help the director at more events, and eventually I felt the call of God to full-time ministry.” Today Storvick is a Cincinnati (OH) Christian University graduate, an ordained missionary with Indian Creek Christian Church in Indianapolis, and the director of IndyCar Ministry.
This nonprofit ministry offers a variety of programs, services, and spiritual growth opportunities for race car drivers and support staff as well as their family and friends.
“We’re at every series practice or test and we’re at every race event,” Storvick says. He and his team offer to pray with every driver before every race, and they hold both a nondenominational Protestant chapel service and a Catholic mass before every IndyCar and Mazda Road to Indy event. The ministry also leads regular “Winner’s Circle” Bible studies in the team garages that are open to all drivers, team members, and race staff.
“This year is the 100th running of the Indy 500, so we’re going to do something special with our services,” Storvick says. “The event runs for three weeks, with the practices, so there are a number of opportunities to reach out to the drivers and their families.”
He believes the key is to build relationships and trust.
“It’s all about showing up every week,” he says. “It’s a close-knit environment with rough language, lots of alcohol, lots of marriage issues. But people will reach out to you when they need help. We not only pray with these folks, we also do counseling and perform weddings and funerals. For many of these men and women, IndyCar is the only ‘church’ they have.”