This is Nancy, Chad’s wife and co-founder of Racing For Jesus Ministries. Our ministry has undergone major changes this year. I have not had the heart to update this information until now, but I will attempt to bring everyone up to speed.
Thursday March 20th started as a very normal day. Chad put in a long day’s work at his business, Chad’s Auto Repair, stopped by his brother Kirk’s house for some rivets for the racecar, and got home at about 8:30 p.m. While he ate dinner we talked about our plans for the upcoming race season, and he went to bed at about 9 p.m. Shortly after, I heard a number of loud noises coming from the bedroom and when I checked, I found Chad on the floor. It soon became apparent he had had a stroke, which came as a shock since we had no reason to be concerned about his health. He was only 50 years old, had been cancer-free for about 10 years, and had medical checks a couple times a year.
Upon arrival at the hospital an MRI was done and the staff was able to determine that the stroke was caused by scarring on Chad’s carotid artery from the radiation he had for treatment of laryngeal cancer many years ago. This was something that did not show up in his routine medical checkups and came as quite a surprise to us. Chad was transported to Tacoma General Hospital and an embolectomy was performed to remove the clot. The surgery was a success and Chad’s prognosis looked very good. However, in the early morning hours of March 23, Chad experienced a substantial brain bleed.
Chad was critically ill and I was advised repeatedly that he probably would not survive this. However, I refused to give up on him and kept praying for his recovery. It took some time, but he gradually began to regain strength. He had lost all function on the right side of his body, though, and was extremely weak. Mentally he was unaffected and while speech was difficult, he made it clear that he was going to work hard on his recovery so he could come home. After 10 days in the ICU he was declared medically stable and was transferred to a regular room on the post-surgical ward, where he continued to improve.
On April 4 Chad was transferred to the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center at Good Samaritan Hospital so he could obtain therapy in preparation for his homecoming. I had stayed with him all during his hospitalization, but was not allowed to stay with him during rehab. I focused my energies on preparing the house for his homecoming and I visited him at the hospital daily.
After therapy on April 7 Chad complained of pain in his right leg, and when I visited him on April 8 I found that they had placed him on bedrest for a clot in his leg. He was taken off bedrest to resume therapy the next day, however. When I had to leave the hospital on the evening of April 9, I kissed him goodbye, then went back and kissed him again. When I turned to look at him from the door, he blew me a kiss. I had no way of knowing that would be the last time I saw him alive.
On the morning of April 10, which also happened to be my birthday, I received a call from the hospital at 7:28 a.m. The nurse told me that Chad’s condition had changed and they were working on him, but that I needed to have someone drive me to the hospital immediately. I had no one to drive me and I drove myself as fast as I could. I live 45 minutes from the hospital and made the drive in 35 minutes, but I was too late; he was already gone. They told me that the clot had evidently broken loose and went to his lungs when they got him out of bed that morning, and while they worked on him for 45 minutes, they were unable to resuscitate him. He was declared dead 10 minutes before I got to the hospital.
We can rejoice that we have absolutely no doubt that Chad is now with his Savior Jesus, and that we will join him again someday when our time on earth is done. However, this was so sudden and unexpected, and we were completely unprepared for his death. It has been a crushing blow to our family. We are all really grieving and struggling to build a life without him. We would be very grateful for your ongoing prayers for us as we try to find our way.
The future of this ministry is also uncertain. Clearly, it cannot go on without him the way it did before, but it was such an important part of our life together that I am reluctant to just let it go. I am keeping it going for now, on our facebook page and through attending some of the functions that we would have attended together. I am praying that God will open new doors, and give new direction for this ministry, so that it will remain alive even though Chad is gone. Please join me in praying for God’s will in regards to the future of Racing For Jesus Ministries.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them or send them via private message on our facebook page. God bless, Nancy Benjamin
If you would like to help the family during this difficult time, contributions can be made to “Chad Benjamin Memorial” at any branch of U.S. Bank

Outlaw Compact Auto Racing Race Review May 11

Chad Benjamin put his Racing For Jesus Ministries Ford Mustang in the winner’s circle at Evergreen Speedway Saturday, May 11, putting an end to Jon ‘ Fozzy’ Roberts’ win streak. Gary Hanawalt managed to bring his ill-handling Mustang home in second place, followed by the VW Rabbit of Joe Hobbs, who just edged Roberts at the line.

Rod Helmuth in his VW Bug and Rookie Kevin Larson in his Honda Civic managed third and fourth place finishes (seventh and eighth overall). Jim ‘Guido’ Perry saw his night end early after his Mustang sustained heavy damage in tangling with Eric Whittaker’s Honda. Drew Harthorn, who’s Merkur xr4ti appeared early-on to be the car to beat, got a bad break on confusion over a black flag. Newcomer Tom Rogers had early engine problems and loaded his new Mustang early.

The next Outlaw Compact race will be be May 25th at South Sound Speedway – SEE YA THERE!!!

May 11 2013 Race Results
1. Chad Benjamin (Outlaw)
2. Gary Hanawalt (Outlaw)
3. Joe Hobbs
4. Jon ‘Fozzy’ Roberts
5. Devin Kessler
6. Travis Woodward
7. Rod Helmuth (Outlaw)
8. Kevin Larson (Outlaw)
9. Mike Hessler
10. Sheridan Horn-Vincent
11. Eric Whittaker
12. Jim ‘Guido’ Perry (Outlaw)
13. Drew Harthorn (Outlaw)
14. Scott Burby
15. Chuck Richard
16. Mike Marthaller Jr.
17. Tom Rogers (Outlaw) DNS

Local driver Chad Benjamin utilizes auto racing as a vehicle for ministry

When Chad Benjamin began racing over a decade ago, he had a race car with stripes and the number 69 on it. He had recently begun a relationship with Jesus and felt compelled to change the design of the car by giving it the #12 as a reference to the twelve disciples. He also added a Jesus sticker to the car. The car, now blood red, draws attention and has been a literal ‘vehicle’ for ministry. Continue reading