Watkins Glen International put its race sponsors front and center on Monday during its media day ahead of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (August 8-11). The press in attendance to watch and talk with five drivers testing out on the track was offered a free lunch, but a lunch with a purpose.
After the opportunity to ask questions of drivers Kurt Busch, A. J. Allmendinger, Michael McDowell, and David Gilliland, as well as trophy artist Eric Meeks of the Corning Museum of Glass, WGI invited the press to choose Sahlen’s hot dogs for lunch (a long-time sponsor, and sponsor of the Sahlen’s 6 Hours at The Glen) as well as try out new dishes being prepared to serve to fans for the first time at the race track next month.
Featured in the taste test were items whose recipes included — what else, of course — Cheez-It crackers. Included on the menu were the track’s new “Grilled Cheez-It Sandwiches” and “Cheez-It Cheesecake.”
The chefs in attendance told Rochester Motorsports that the Cheez-It Sandwich was made with chopped Cheez-It crackers, bacon, mayonnaise, tomato, spices, and other ingredients. The Cheez-It Cheesecake used ground Cheez-It crackers as the basis for its crust.
Fans will be able to purchase both of these new items in the concession stands at the track in August. The food will also be available to guests in the suites, according to WGI.
If the goal of these new recipes might be to show fans there are more ways to use Cheez-It crackers than as snacks in a bowl, that goal will likely be met at the race in upstate New York next month. One envisions some fans going home, buying a box of Cheez-Its in one of its 18 or so different flavors, and experimenting with them in their own concoctions that have used cracker crumbs, cheese, or other related ingredients in the past.
It must be said that, while these recipes might break one’s calorie count for the day and are certainly not a substitute for a leafy green salad if that’s what one is looking for, the zesty cheese flavor that Cheez-It crackers are known for came through in both of these menu items to add a new twist to old family favorites.
The Cheez-It 355 at The Glen takes place August 8 – 11 and will feature the Sprint Cup race on Sunday along with the Zippo 200 Nationwide race on Saturday.
For more information about the race or the track, visit Watkins Glen International.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Connie Ann Kirk is the author of several books and is currently working on a book about racers and racing with an Irish historic racer. Her blog about the sport is “Motor Sport Muse.”