Even as I write this, the final race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship has just seen Brad Keselowski take the Cup and Jeff Gordon win at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. My husband is there of course, although he worked Friday and yesterday, missing the Truck and the Nationwide races. Actually he was able to watch the Trucks and the last part of Nationwide on television. For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, that’s okay because the races per se are not the point of this post.
The final races of the NASCAR season are held here, and there are different events that occur prior to the races. This year they added something new to the mix – a charity event of the Championship Taste 2012 to raise money for “Speediatrics”. This is one of the charities supported by the NASCAR Foundation. Speediatrics helps support children’s units at the local hospital and one in Daytona Beach. I had been to other fundraisers at the Speedway and didn’t realize this one was arranged differently. Instead of the usual bar and hors d’oeuvres set up in the Champions Club, this was outside under the canopies in what they called the Chalet Village. A series of tents featured several restaurants and one cookie maker and there were two or three bars. Iced down Coca-cola products and water were in containers as part of your ticket. When you checked in you were given a card with the names of the restaurants to help you track which tents you visited and a judging card . You strolled in any order you wanted to, the servings tapas-sized. There was also a raffle with some nice prizes and an entertaininng, “Chef’s Challenge” where drivers Kenny Wallace, Johanna Long, and Sean Corr competed in preparing a chicken and broccoli stir-fry under the eye of Miami Chef Adrianne Calvo.
Oscar and Golden Globe winning producer Jon Landau was instrumental in this effort. As the Celebrity Host, he was gracious and engaging making his way around to thank the attendees prior to the presentation of the $100,000 dollar check to hospital representatives. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I only wished that I had urged more people to participate. I will certainly do so for next year if they hold the event again. Bravo to all who helped make Championship Taste 2012 a success!