By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE, Tenn, July 25, Reuters - Pastor Joe Nelms likely had folks gathered at the NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 300 race looking around for his "smokin' hot wife," after he thanked God for her during his pre-race invocation.
Nelms, pastor of Family Baptist Church in nearby Lebanon, Tennessee, borrowed a little bit from the film "Talladega Nights" and also from NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip in his prayer before the weekend race.
He thanked God for such things as "these mighty machines that you've brought before us," going on to cite the wonders of Dodges and Toyotas and Fords.
Prayerful thanks then were directed to, among other things,
"Sunoco Racing Fuel and Goodyear tires that bring performance and power to the track."
But it was when he got to his family that he had fans and drivers unsuccessfully holding back laughter.
"Lord I want to thank you for my smokin' hot wife tonight, Lisa, my two children, Eli and Emma, or as we like to call them the Little E's."
But he wasn't done. He prayed and blessed the drivers and said, "may they put on a performance worthy of this great track."
Then he borrowed NASCAR Hall of Famer Waltrip's trademark phrase in his closing: "In Jesus' name. Boogity, boogity, boogity. Amen."
Nelms was unavailable for comment Monday.
(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Jerry Norton)