Mary Whitesell Named Top Team Grillmaster

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 25, 2000 - Days before the Coca-Cola 600 race began, the competition was already heating up at Lowe's Motor Speedway as 18 Winston Cup team cooks and crew members showed off their grilling prowess in the Coleman NASCAR Team ...

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 25, 2000 - Days before the Coca-Cola 600 race began, the competition was already heating up at Lowe's Motor Speedway as 18 Winston Cup team cooks and crew members showed off their grilling prowess in the Coleman NASCAR Team Grilling Challenge. Mary Whitesell, team cook for the #24 DuPont team (Jeff Gordan) was crowned top team grillmaster today in the inaugural Coleman NASCAR Team Grilling Challenge, a competition that benefits the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary.

Whitesells's mouth-watering Grilled Shish Ka Bobs and Cranberry Compote won her $5,000. Additionally, on behalf of Whitesell and Coleman Grills, $5,000 was donated to the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary.

Each of the Winston Cup team cooks participating in the competition was given a chance to test drive a Coleman grill, the "Cookin' Machine of NASCAR," and prepare their favorite recipe for the judges during a qualifying grill-off competition on May 24th. The judges selected six team cooks to battle in a final grill-off competition. Each of the team cooks received a new Coleman gas grill and Coleman grilling accessories for their participation.

The panel of judges included grilling expert George Hirsch, Benny Parsons, Buddy Baker and other members of the NASCAR community. Criteria for judging included taste, appearance, use of spices and marinades, creativity and overall grilling knowledge.

The Coleman NASCAR Team Grilling Challenge finalists included Troy Cole, team cook for the #1 Penzoil team; Earl Barban, team cook for the #2 Miller Lite team; Leslie Ann Britton, team cook for the #3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus and #31 Lowe's teams; Mary Whitesell, team cook for the #24 DuPont team; Gary Geisman, team cook for the #43 STP/Cheerios team; and Cindy Lewis, team cook for the #77 Jasper Engines/Federal Mogul team.

"The Winston Cup teams are becoming some of the better fed people I know. The cooks now go the extra mile to make sure their team members are taken care of and it definitely shows," said Benny Parsons, one of the contest judges. "The Coleman Team Grilling Challenge helps recognize these behind-the-scenes individuals for the ongoing support they provide to the crews while raising money for a great cause."

"The Coleman Team Grilling Challenge was a great way to showcase the talents of the Winston Cup team cooks, " said Chef George Hirsch, one of the country's leading grill experts. "We were highly impressed with the quality and creativity of the participants' dishes and everyone involved, especially those of us judging and sampling dishes, had a great time."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Benny Parsons , Buddy Baker