NASCAR is my first love, but I also follow NHRA Drag Racing. I have been fortunate to meet John Force, my favorite drag racer. I grew up around cars, working on cars, (yes, I was an auto mechanic for 11 years!), and being part of a pit crew on a drag car in Nashville. I always dreamed of being the first female mechanic in NASCAR, but never could get my foot in the door. I guess I was a little ahead of my time. I started attending the Saturday night races at the Nashville Fairgrounds raceway, usually being the first in line at the ticket booth! I enjoyed watching Bill Elliott, Daryl Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, and Bobby Hamilton race frequently at Nashville.
I learned of Tony’s Foundation when I found one of their Chevrolet car raffles online.
I have seen foundations that the chairman or CEO draws a million dollar salary. But, even though Joni, Pam and Julie are worth it, they put mission first and do not make a million bucks. I know my giving goes to the places I want it to go to. I did some research into the Foundation and I liked the things it stood for: children with special needs, animals at-risk, and injured race car drivers. I wanted to be a part of a great organization like this.
Being a busy business owner, I like the monthly Lap Leaders program. I don’t have to think about it- it is done for me each month. I tend to forget things like that, even though they are very important to me.
My gifts are made as unrestricted. Joni, Pam, and Julie know where the money is most needed, and I trust their judgment on where to send it.
Lately I have been an armchair – no, an in the kitchen- race fan. I have had cable installed in my commercial kitchen, so when working weekends I can watch the race. We don’t miss a Fast Friday, or qualifying if we can help it. For my birthday last year, my staff bought me a life-size Tony. He watches over the shop everyday!
We have introduced a line of cakes that we sell to help raise money for the foundation- we call them TSF cakes. They are available on our website. (www.joscakesandcatering.com). It is highly motivational to have Tony there with us as we make the cakes and get them ready to ship out. I have been to the Daytona 500, twice. I have also been to Talladega and Bristol. My dream is to go to Charlotte, Atlanta, and Indy (actually ANY track) for the races.
As fans of Tony’s I think we owe it to him to support his efforts with the foundation. He gives us his all at every race, and basically every waking hour, and it is the least we can do to give back to him! He is so passionate for the work the Foundation does and I want to help any way I can. If you could see him with the children and animals he supports, you would give all you can, too. He has a heart of gold and I think every fan can give something, even if it is only $5 a month. You can be sure your gift goes to a great cause!
I know Tony has the best fans and we need to show him how much we support him. To Mr. Stewart- thank you for all you do and we are behind you 100%.