Sean Silverman has several different titles at Maranatha Assembly of God in Rincon. Friday night, he earned another moniker, racecar champion.
Silverman beat 11 area pastors at Oglethorpe Speedway Park’s seventh annual Faster Pastor Race in Pooler.
Several of the youth that Silverman works with at Maranatha were screaming at the top of their lungs, cheering on their Royal Ranger Commander.
“They’re excited,” Silverman said. “I probably won’t be able to get into the front door.”
Silverman trailed Rev. Alfred Banks of Daniel Baptist Church in Richmond Hill the first nine laps, but overtook him midway through the 10th and final lap and held on for the win.
Silverman, who raced go-karts for seven years, said he knew what to do when Banks wouldn’t give up the inside portion of the track.
“I had to go around the top and I got him,” he said. “I used what I learned from racing go-karts.”
This was Silverman’s first race at OSP but not his church’s. Rev Michael Beck raced for Maranatha last year, but a few weeks before signups decided to let Silverman, who can see better at night, get behind the wheel..
In the stands, Beck was with his congregation cheering on their favorite racer.
“It was just great. I never dreamed he would win the race but it worked out that way,” Beck said. “We were just as proud as punch. It was probably one of the most exciting races I’ve ever seen.”
Though Silverman went home with the trophy, all the Faster Pastor participants had a good time and were congregating with one another afterwards.
Rev. Ricky Rushing of Goshen United Methodist Church in Rincon, who finished third, had a great time.
“It was one of the best races I’ve been in. It was a good, clean race,” he said. “I had a good car and I worked hard to get back to third.”
Rushing fell to eighth early, but he kept working the gas and using the inside portion of the track. After maneuvering his way up to fourth, he overtook third on the last lap.
“I just kept working it and he was high so I knew I could get under him and when I did I had it,” Rushing said.
Rev. Eric Hayes of Baptist Church at Ebenezer in Rincon finished seventh.
OSP manager Darlene Nerich said the event was excellent and drew about 1,300 people, 500 more people than normal.
“This was one of the cleanest Faster Pastor races I’ve ever seen,” she said. “One of the best things the event does is introduce people to racing and to the facility who wouldn’t come out for a regular race but they cheer on their pastor and get hooked.”
The pastors weren’t the only ones burning rubber. Five other races were held. Dan Simmons of Savannah won the Four Star Security 440s, Josh Carter of Pembroke won the Red Diamond Homes Mini Stocks, Brian Barnes of Bloomingdale won the Love’s Seafood Street Stocks, Russ Brown of Savannah won the Boo-Koo Late Models and Don Douglas of Richmond Hill won the Southern Racing Supplies Pure Stocks.
Faster Pastor results:
1. Sean Silverman: Maranatha Assembly of God, Rincon
2. Rev. Alfred Banks, Daniel Baptist, Richmond Hill
3. Rev. Ricky Rushing, Goshen United Methodist, Rincon
4. Rev. Bill Black, Riverside Baptist, Savannah
5. Rev. Doug McCart, First Baptist of Brooklet
6. Rev. Tom Osborne, Friendship Baptist, Statesboro
7. Rev. Eric Hayes, Baptist Church at Ebenezer, Rincon
8. Jeff Kerby
9. Bucky Ormston
10. Matt Black, Riverside Baptist, Savannah
11. Rev. Storman Glass, Cornerstone Church, Statesboro
12. Jerry Kennedy