Pastor Joe Nelms defended the invocation he gave before Saturday night’s Nationwide race where he gave thanks for the different car manufacturers, Sunoco, Goodyear and, in taking a line from “Talladega Nights,” he also gave thanks for his “smokin’ hot wife.’’

Nelms was on Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint’’ on Monday and talked about the invocation he gave. Here is part of what he said in the interview conducted by Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers.

On the prayer:

NELMS: I never seem to be able to rehearse the prayer. This is my fourth time doing the invocation in the last two years at the Nashville track and I’ve never had it in mind. I think that’s part of why it goes over well with the fans and with the drivers because they can tell it’s not staunch and rehearsed, it’s something that’s coming from the heart. I’ve been a race fan ever since I can remember. That was a Sunday afternoon tradition at our house, come in, eat Sunday afternoon lunch after church and sit around the living room watching racing.

“I always said if I get a chance after God told me to preach … to pray at one of the events of the track, I don’t want to do the cookie-cutter prayer, not that we don’t need to thank God for our military men and women, absolutely, we wouldn’t be here without them, not that we don’t desire safety for all of the of the officials, workers and drivers, we certainly don’t want anything to happen to anybody out there. We need a safe race. But it’s the same prayer week in and week out and I’m not sure anybody is even listening to it anymore. So I said, I want to get somebody’s attention, so that’s been our desire every time we’ve been up there, to try to make an impact on the fans and give them something they’ll remember and maybe they’ll go home on a Friday night or a Saturday night and say, “Maybe I ought to get up and go to church in the morning.’’

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