Published March 31, 2005
Chase Moody is an automobile racing champion at age 14. His mother had him pegged to be another Jeff Gordon from his infancy. Shondi Moody jokes that her son's first words were "vroom, vroom" and Chase admits, "I really wanted to race cars for as long as I can remember."
In 2004 Moody was recognized as the Georgia state champion in the "Young Guns" division in the Bandolero racing circuit.
The Bandolero Car, which is 34 inches high, 129 inches long and 500 pounds in weight, is designed for entry-level racers as young as ten. The car comes equipped with a rear-mounted, air-cooled Briggs & Stratton engine that operates at a 30 horsepower capacity. The key difference between a Bandolero and a go-kart is the full-bodied styling of the car.
Races are sanctioned by the International Sanctioning Organization of Legends Cars and Bandolero (INEX) and every driver is required to become a member of the organization. The Bandolero racing divisions include the Bandits (drivers between the ages of 8-11), the Young Guns (Drivers between the ages of 12-15) and the Outlaws (drivers age 16 and up).
Karts for Christ
Chase Moody began to be fascinated with motor sports at an early age, when he got his first go-kart. Knowing that the Lord deserved the place of preeminence in his life, Chase developed a "Karts for Christ" emphasis. He learned to maneuver his go-kart with great skill, learned a few stunts, set them to music, and did a "show" for the kids at camp that summer.
In the fall of 2002, a friend invited Chase and his dad, Chip, into the pits with him while he raced a Legends car. That inside look at auto racing became the first of many such experiences and Chase was hooked. He asked his parents for a Bandolero car for Christmas, knowing that it was unreasonable to ask for something that cost $7,000. He did not get his car at Christmas, but kept hoping and praying that his dream would become a reality.
To Chase's great delight, his father and grandfather took him on a surprise trip in April of 2003 and he got his first Bandolero car. None of the Moodys knew much about racing, but they soon met a lot of friends who helped Chase get started. He ran his very first race on June 5, 2003. His goal was to finish the race, and he did ... in last place.
"My parents have always told me that I could do anything I put my mind to, but I don't think racing was what they had in mind when they said that," Chase remarked. So, with the support of family and friends, Chase, with dogged determination, made plans to contend for the national championship in 2004.
After winning only one race in 2003, Chase participated in 37 races in 7 months in 2004 and won 12 - finishing in the top three 23 times - and completed the season with 31 top five finishes. The youthful Moody was the Georgia state champion, the national championship runner-up, the track champion at Sunny South Raceway in Mobile, Ala., and the track championship runner-up at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Senoia Speedway.
Chip, who is serving on the staff of Ted Moody's church, Mount Gilead in Griffin, has repeatedly impressed upon Chase that his off-track activities are just as important as what he does in his races. The son has taken his father's advice to heart and consistently uses the platform of racing as an opportunity to share his faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, he has been able to share his testimony with more than 2,500 students in the last two racing seasons.
"I accepted Christ when I was seven," Chase unashamedly professes. "My dad was a youth minister when I was little, so I have sat through more invitations than any kid on the planet. I got up out of bed one night and told my parents that I wanted Jesus to come into my heart. They explained to me how to become a Christian and I prayed and asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. My dad baptized me a few weeks later."
The adventurous race car driver continued, "I have never been the same since I asked Christ into my life. I haven't lived a perfect life, but I know that God has changed my life and I really want other kids to experience it too."
Chase, though young, is always trying to give careful consideration as to how he can magnify the Lord in his exploits on the raceway. He has employed the use of 316 as the number for his racing vehicle. The number stands for John 3:16, which contains the gospel in a nutshell.
Other than racing, Chase enjoys playing the guitar. His brother and two sisters all play musical instruments and they have started a band called "4-Given." To his credit and God's glory, Chase seems to be using every opportunity available to him to honor the Lord.
Chase has now graduated to a brand new #316 Pro Challenge truck, which is finally ready for testing after nearly two months of work. He has tested it and is making preparations to debut this new racing machine at the Senoia Speedway April 9th.
Chase, a straight A student, has devoted himself to learning all he can about racing. Looking to the future he declares, "If God keeps opening doors, I hope to drive in the NASCAR circuit someday. I'd like to drive for Ray Evernham or Joe Gibbs, because they don't hide their faith in God."
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