Just like home: ‘Famous Martinsville hot dogs’ return to Daytona

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With rain interrupting late morning/early afternoon events at Daytona International Speedway, reporters went searching for new stories.

They didn’t have to go far, especially those that have a nose for news – literally. It took the media just a few steps to sniff out what was cooking.

For the second year in a row, Daytona International Speedway officials chose to import a certain kind of “foreign” food for lunch to feed a couple hundred hungry media members.

No, we’re not talking about Chinese or European or Mexican food.

We’re talking about one of the delicacies of the Sprint Cup tour, namely “famous Martinsville hot dogs.”

If you’ve been at the gritty half-mile short track in southern Virginia otherwise known as Martinsville Speedway, you know how addictive the bright red Martinsville hotdogs can be. With a unique covering of mustard, onions, slaw and chili combined, you can’t eat just one.

(Full disclosure, I ate two – not to mention a little potato salad and onions and beans. I would have gone for three, but I didn’t want to appear greedy.)

Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell, who finished third in last weekend’s ARCA race at DIS, oversaw a contingent from the track and surrounding area that came down to oversee the importation of the famous dogs.

When word filtered through the Sprint Cup garage that FMHD’s were in the house, several non-media types snuck in to the DIS media center to grab a dog or two. They’re THAT popular.

After all, what else is there to do during a rain delay than eat?

Thank goodness TUMS is also a NASCAR sponsor.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.