How Did Racers Survive Outside the South?

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
8 years ago
9,126 posts

We all know that there have been real "hotbeds" of stock car racing all across the United States, especially since WWII. North, South, East, West, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Deep South, Midwest, Southwest, Pacific Coast, Northwest all have provided terrific racing action and legions of fans on the local level. HOWEVER, the question has occurred to me of exactly how the racers and fans outside the south survived for so many years. This thought occurred to me today right after I had sliced a couple of thick slabs of corned beef and slathered a couple of slices of bread with DUKE'S Mayonnaise from the giant sized jar that is never too far back in my refrigerator. Duke's Mayonnaise originated in Greenville, SC and was manufactured there and at the company headquarters of C.F. Sauer, Inc. on Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia - my hometown. For many years Duke's had fairly limited distribution, primarily in the south.

Heck, when I went to Dallas to work for 7-Eleven my family would UPS Duke's Mayonnaise and Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew to me from Richmond.

My point here is... how in the world did all those racers and fans from other sections of the country survive without Duke's mayonnaise to spread on those bologna sandwiches they made at or took to the track?

I mean, we all know there is a tv commercial running where the Earnhardt family expresses their allegiance to Hellman's mayonnaise, but I gotta tell you... I don't ever remember seeing any mayo around the NASCAR garages I was in except jars of Duke's. No Hellman's, no Kraft, no Best Foods. Just homegrown, southern Duke's mayo. Some loaves of freshbread, some bologna, some Duke's Mayonnaise and cans of Vienna Sausages and we were pretty well set for eating at the track. Now at Darlington we'd sneak out to the Raceway Grille for hamburger steaks and sometimes you'd see some KFC show up, then Junie Donlavey started cooking Red Baron Pizzas in his rig. And, the food in the infield cafeteria at Rockingham couldn't be beat. But none of this gourmet stuff you see now on tv with all the teams having personal chefs.

Now the food variety was different track to track, but always good. At Wilson Country Speedway we stopped by Parkers BBQ before going in the track. At Southside Speedway we ate corn dogs called "Pronto Pups." South Boston had bologna burgers, if you could get Elliot Sadler out of the way and scrumptious fried chicken. Martinsville had their Jesse Jones hot dogs (made in Garner, NC). Heck, when we started going to New Hampshire we even stopped for clam bellies!

But back to sandwich making. - my question again is simple - how in the world did you folks outside the south ever make it at the track without Duke's mayonnaise? I know ya had to eat sumpin!

(and I would have my tongue planted firmly in my cheek if it wasn't busy licking the mayo off my lips!)




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 12/05/16 04:02:07PM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
8 years ago
9,126 posts
Oh, yes, PattyKay... ya got me salivating now. We've discussed before that great food at Pocono. Strange you should mention Batavia, NY. In the summer of 1960, my family - six of us in our non-air conditioned 1957 Chevy - stopped in Batavia, NYfor breakfast at a truckstop on our way from Gettysburg, PA to Niagara Falls, our trip having originated in Richmond. I have no idea of the name of that long ago (white wooden building, I believe) truckstop, but I remember our family always voted it the number 1, best road breakfast we ever ate. Thinking of upper NY state, I also must mention the Gang Mills Diner, in Gang Mills, NY, outside of Painted Post/Corning where we'd eat breakfast for the Watkins Glen races. Outstanding. One other thing that was tops in New York, the Wegmans supermarket chain. When I stayed in Corning, my wife would laugh at me because I wanted to go browse around Wegmans. I still think it was the neatest grocery store I've been in. They would even deliver pizza from the supermarket to the motel. I may have been born in the Capital of the Confederacy, but I do have an appreciation for the road food I've encountered in New York.


--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
8 years ago
9,126 posts

We've probably all had some food firsts at the track - I remember these:

MY 1st burritto - Infield food stand at Riverside, Ca

My 1st curly fries - Kent, WA road course for Winston West race

My 1st pierogi - Pocono behind pit road

My 1st clam bellies - Sawyer's dairy bar somewhere near where I stayed on Lake Winnipesaukee forNew Hampshire races

At Michigan for the 2nd race some local farmers used to roast fresh corn in the garage and serve it to us with hot butter. And, of course, those great crabs around Dover. I guess we ate pretty good.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Christopher Krul
@christopher-krul
8 years ago
119 posts

Ah yes Wegmans. Being born and raised in Upstate NY it is one of the greatest Supermarkets. So great that Alec Baldwin does commercials for them. His Mother even commented that when she moved to Hollywood she missed Wegmans. I miss their sub sandwiches. Since moving to Florida I have missed alot of little things like that.

Those "white hots" or "Coneys" as I call them were great. Hoffmans and Zweigles make some great hot dogs where I used to live. Hoffmans were my absolute favorites. Go to the Oswego Speedway and the smell of them on the grill was intoxicating. Something about getting a Hoffman at the Oswego Speedway tasted like no other. I hear the secret to good Hoffman Hot dogs like at the track is peanut oil on the frying pan. Just a little. When my parents visit me they bring some Hoffman Hot Dogs down.

When I went to North Wilkesboro last year for the October Pro Cup Race they did make hot dogs like you described. I ordered two of them thinking it would be plain but to my surprise to find chili, cole slaw and other stuff on it. It was not bad. Wash that down with an ice cold Sundrop and I was sold. I never had Sundrop and was aware that it used to be only found in certain markets. When I was in NC, I brought some 12 packs of that and Cheerwine back to Florida. Course now Sundrop has gone national. But not Cheerwine. I can see how some grow attached to stuff like that in the South.

Salt Potatos are another thing I cannot find here in Florida. These little tiny potatoes are another Upstate NY staple. Having that, Grandma Brown Baked Beans and Hoffman hot dogs is your typical Upstate NY cookout food.

One of my other favorites are Spiedies. Its marinated pieces chicken, beef, pork or lamb grilled on a skewer and served up on a hoggie roll. I make them sometimes because Sweet Bay Supermarket actually sells the Marinade to make it.

Since moving to Florida I remember seeing the Kenny Wallace Duke's Mayonnaise car and saw a jar of it at Publix one day. Through the use of NASCAR sponsoring a car I never would have known about it. I tried it. I am sold. Everytime I make a turkey sandwich I put alot of that stuff on it. Nothing more creamier then that!!

Johnny Mallonee
@johnny-mallonee
8 years ago
3,259 posts

AND HOW ARE WE POOR SOUTHERNERS SUPPOSED TO SURVIVE THROUGH THE DAY WITH ALL THIS FOOD TALK?????????????????????????????????/

MOst of all the food yo all described I have seen,smelled,and almost eat to much of it before or after a race. But im home grown and memories of those scrumptious hotdogs were the seller in my dept. You couldnt pile enough slaw and chili on them for us.....

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
2 years ago
9,126 posts

Having racetrack food cravings and recalled this old post.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
2 years ago
9,126 posts




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Bobby Williamson
@bobby-williamson
2 years ago
907 posts

My momma always referred to Duke University...............  THE DUKE UNIVERSITY......she called it "Dukes Mayonnaise".