09/01/08 — Fremont is man racing towards a new path of fast cars and faith

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Fremont is man racing towards a new path of fast cars and faith

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 1, 2008 12:21 PM

FREMONT -- Eddie Mooring has been racing stock cars for 28 years, since he was 16 years old.

His father, the late David Mooring, sparked his interest in the sport. While still a student at Charles B. Aycock High School, Eddie built his first race car in mechanics shop.

Eddie Mooring

News-Argus/Greg Sousa

Eddie Mooring stands near his latest stock car, which he frequently races in Kenly and uses as a teaching tool when he speaks to school groups.

"It was just something I had always wanted to do, build a stock car," he said. "I have been fortunate to be with some top-notch people to build race cars and set them up."

It reached the point where it consumed his life.

"This has been my hobby -- excuse me, my addiction would be about more right -- because for 23 years I have had to have it to live," he said. "It was first in my life -- before family, before church, before everything, before self."

These days, his life is more on track.

"I'm not proud of some of the past but I'm proud that God has helped me and changed my priorities," he says now.

He said he felt a call into the ministry at age 16, but chose not to follow it.

"I said, 'No, I'm going to do it my way,'" he said. "I ran from Him until about 10 years ago."

It was 1996, to be exact. A truck driver, he had an accident that still affects him today.

He is still able to race, although he can't do any heavy lifting.

"God is allowing me to do what I love doing," he said. "The Lord has blessed me to be able to do that."

He still goes to the races and can frequently be found at Southern National Speedway in Kenly. And he still builds and drives cars.

But his passion now centers around helping young people share his interest. He currently takes his program "Racing for Jesus" to several locations -- Fremont STARS Elementary School, Wilson Middle School, Orange County Speedway, with others in consideration.

"I would like to do it for more schools because if I can make a difference in one child and head them in the right direction, it would be worth all my efforts and my wife's," he said.

His program features a car being spun around on the grass, a relay race for students rolling a tire across a field, a tire stand to teach students how to change a tire and a live pit stop demonstration.

Wife Marcia often helps on the pit crew. Even youngest son Mark, 8, has developed an expertise.

"He can tell the group how to use the tire temps and explain why we need to know this," Mooring said.

Beyond the glitz and glamour of seeing a race car in action, however, Mooring prides himself on being an educator of sorts. Math and science lessons are incorporated into every program.

"We do math problems without the calculator and then we do the science part where your (car) weight transfers when you go in the corners," he said. "Then they get to take tire temps -- showing how much changes sitting in the shade versus sitting in the sun."

He charges nothing for the programs. His reward is knowing he might be encouraging youths to improve their math and science skills, and perhaps even consider career options that weren't available when he was coming along.

"If there had been something like this when I was growing up, I'd have gone into it as a job," he said.

Winning isn't everything, he will say, although it will always be great.

"It feels good to be in the victory lane," he said, but these days, the next lap of his journey involves another direction.

Since January, he has been attending Carolina Bible Institute and Seminars in Pine Level, with plans to become an ordained minister within the next couple of years.

If he can just combine efforts -- going into full-time ministry and incorporating his racing program in churches -- he would be all set.

"I have the confidence that I have done what I love doing and God is allowing me to do that," he said.