No matter who crosses the finish line first in the this Thursday¿s Faster Pastor event, a Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Pantry, which provides meals for low-income families in the Spalding county area, will win the biggest prize. Four local ministers will duke it out in Legends cars on Atlanta Motor Speedway¿s ¼-mile Thunder Ring, and while the race will determine the faster pastor, a food drive will determine the starting order, as well as help local families in need. ¿I¿m excited about the food drive because when we decided to do the Faster Pastor race, we wanted to make sure it benefited our community, and I think we picked one of the best charities around,¿ said Dan Brown, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Griffin. Race fans will bring non-perishable food items to the speedway Thursday, depositing them in the barrel of their favorite spiritual speed demon. The pastor with the most cans at the end of the night will start on the pole. While Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Pantry is currently ahead of donations for 2003, it¿s still in dire need of food, because the second half of the year is usually tougher on low-income families. One-third of the pantry¿s food comes from civic donations, with another third coming from local vendors and the final third being purchased from the Atlanta Food Bank. ¿Some of the food has to be purchased from the Food Bank, because there are some things we just don¿t get donated,¿ said Eddie Whitlock of Five Loaves and Two Fishes. Powdered milk is the most needed item for the food pantry, as Five Loaves and Two Fishes has to buy more of this product than any other. ¿If I could request a single item, I¿d look for powdered milk,¿ Whitlock said. ¿We always have to buy it and almost every family that comes to us needs it.¿ The food pantry is also low on cereal, soup and peanut butter, but any canned or boxed, non-perishable food item is appreciated. In the second half of the year, Five Loaves and Two Fishes always dips slightly below the level of food needed, and is forced to purchase more from the Food Bank and from local vendors. Atlanta Motor Speedway hopes Faster Pastor can help to change this, encouraging everyone attending this week¿s races to bring canned goods to donate. Gates open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 10 and action begins immediately. Tickets can be purchased at Gate 13 on event night, and adults are just $5, children 6-11 $1 and children 5 and under are free. SPONSOR NOTES: Roadster driver Kyle Beattie of Concord, N.C., has secured a new sponsor for the remainder of the 2003 Thursday Thunder season. The Red Roof Inn of Commerce, Ga., has come on board to sponsor Beattie, who is currently leading the Roadster division in points at AMS. ¿It¿s a long drive from Concord to Atlanta each week, so it¿s nice to know you have a nice clean room to stay in,¿ Beattie said. ¿And the folks at the Red Roof Inn of Commerce are nice too ¿ give them a call when you need a place to stay.¿