Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let's get ready for Martsville and the famous Hot Dog!

No track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit is closely identified with a concession stand offering than Martinsville Speedway is with its hot dog. The track maybe the only one in NASCAR which fans relish [hehe-excuse the pun] the thought of paying for, and ingesting other than beer.


A Martinsville hot dog doesn’t look appetizing. In fact, if you inspect it closely, you’ll see that what appears to be red dye from the meat has soaked into the bun.

Sometimes it feels soggy to the grip and its not that big. A couple of good bites and you’re finished. It can’t be good for your health. No doubt the cholesterol count rises with every bite. Your arteries SCREAM for mercy.

Yet people don’t care. They plop down good money for a few hot dogs-because can’t just have one Martinsville hot dog-which is a boiled Jessie Jones hot dog, wrapped in what is more of a roll than a hot dog bun then topped with chili, mustard, onions, and vinegar based slaw. The concoctions are the wrapped in some wax paper and left in a steamer to keep warm. Alterations to these yummy hot dogs can be made, but you will be considered a traitor. Once fans order their dogs for only $2 each, they are able to enjoy a fine dining experience…43 cars beating and banging for 500 miles.

Fans, drivers, crew members, media members of and team owners dig the famous creations. When the speedway was purchased by International Speedway Corp., the concession arm of ISC decided to change the legendary hot dog by having the customer put on the toppings themselves. Soon every member of NASCAR demanded to bring back the old, but good, recipe.

Last time the NASCAR boys were in Martinsville, Bootie Barker and the #66 crew each ate 8 of these delicious hot dogs PER day. “This is straight from the Lord to you,” says veteran motor sports journalist Dick Berggren, shaking a wrapped dog. During one Friday afternoon practice, Dale Earnhardt Jr said he ate 3 as soon as he got to the track that early morning. He even remembers eating 10 at one setting. He even went on to say “I got an iron gut.”

But not everyone likes the Martinsville hot dog, of course. They don’t understand why others do. Dale Jarrett quit eating them back in 2002, but will still buy them for people.

But I guess it’s like this: For those who don’t understand the lure of a Martinsville hot dog, no explanation will do. For those who do, no explanation is necessary.