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Thanksgiving contest winners!

November 24th, 2010 by

The Table

(Flickr: rfduck)


Wow! We received some great stories from you on which member of Team Interstate you would invite to your Thanksgiving table. Our esteemed panel of randomly chosen judges had a tough time deciding on the winners. But after lots of deliberation and back-and-forth, we’re proud to announce the big prize winner and five runners up:

Big prize winner: Heather F.!


Judge’s comment: “She had me at the cranberry-orange-apple relish. And the fact that she’d let Denny carve the turkey!”

I would invite Denny Hamlin. My husband and I support all the JGR teammates, but for this special occasion I’d pick Denny. We would have turkey with homemade (not from the box) filling, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry-orange-apple relish, potato rolls, mom’s baked sweet potatoes and fresh baked crust-less pumpkin pie with whip-cream. We would tell Denny how thankful we are to have him join us and in grace be thankful for our family and the many blessings we have had this year. I am thankful I married my best friend, someone who makes me smile and still gives me butterflies, someone who I can share this NASCAR passion with to the extent we married at the LVMS. (After dinner, we would of course share the photo album with Denny.) I would let Denny carve the turkey and we would all be full of 100s of questions (what goes thru your mind going 190 MPH and you get airborne? Do you ever want to just plow another driver into the wall? What does your driving record look like? What kind of car do you drive, is it a Toyota? If you weren’t racing, what would you be doing?) I would also want to know what he was like at 14, since I have a son who is 14 and have him spend time with him to get his interest in NASCAR and convince him it is more than driving a car in a circle for 3 hours straight and then maybe he would decide to pursue racing as a career choice (unlikely since he is all about computers, but a mom can dream). After dinner I would show Denny all of our photos from NASCAR, I would also show him his facebook page, to see all the support his fans have shown for his hard work this season. How proud of him we all our. In his post interview it broke my heart to see the look on his face of that disappointment. I would tell him how amazing and impressive his season was. How just a few weeks after surgery he went on to win a Nationwide and Sprint Cup race in one weekend. While Joey, Kyle and Denny are all impressive and extremely talented drivers, I would just want to shower Denny with praise, cheer and support and tell him next year will be even better! #11 in 2011. I honestly believe we will see all three in the Chase next year, I think Joey’s best years are soon to prevail!

Congratulations, Heather! You win the autographed die-cast, calendar and copy of Joe Gibbs’ book, Game Plan for Life. Send your mailing address (and a photo from your wedding!) to



These five entrants win a calendar and a copy of Joe Gibbs’ book. They are presented in no particular order.

Rose Evans

Judge’s comment: “I’d love to see a turkey shaped like an Interstate battery, but I’m not sure I’d want to eat one!”

KyleNormSam Kyle Busch of course! And his girlfriend – Sam.

I’d serve him up a turkey shaped like an Interstate battery. And I’d have a ham, a macaroni pie – (lots of that), and some dressing with that gravy stuff, some potato salad, corn, green beans, rolls, oh shoot, I can’t even think what all I’d have, I’d just be too excited that he was at my table!

I’d talk about his career and let him know what a talented, wonderful, amazing driver he is. You know he’d love to talk racing whether he was eating or playing. :o)

I’d surely let him know how I became a fan of his…and how he keeps me glued to the TV, (when I can’t attend a race in person), watching his every move!

Then after he ate, he could go take a nap, because I know he loves naps – saw that on Riding Shot Gun with Kyle Busch.

Oh I would just be so excited – Might even find some Interstate Battery cups and plates to use. Hee Hee

(photo of Kyle Busch, Norm Miller and Sam Sarcinella copyright 2010 Autostock Images)


Judge’s comment: “You made me laugh, and that’s not easy to do. OK, it’s VERY easy to do, but I love a good Ricky Bobby reference!”

I would like to have dinner with Kyle Busch. Conversation would revolve almost entirely around "Ricky Bobby" with questions including
1. Which Jesus do you like to pray to? the Christmas Baby Jesus? The Carpenter Jesus? The Jesus of loaves and fishes?
2. Does ha have plans for children ? If so which names would he prefer Dr. Quinn? Medicine Woman? Walker? Texas Ranger?
3. Do you have a slogan like "Shake and Bake" with your teamates?
4. How did you meet your wife? When you first saw her were you thinking "please god let her be 18"?
5. "If you’re not first you’re last" Do you believe this?
The conversation could be endless!
Who wouldn’t want to come to my house for THAT dinner?

April Craig

Judge’s comment: “Your submission was thoughtful, and I loved that you would invite Denny’s parents.”

2010 NASCAR Phoenix I would love to have Denny Hamlin at my Thanksgiving table, but I would also love for his parents to join me as well. Since I always serve a fresh grain-fed turkey with all the trimmings, that is what I would serve, along with a table full of desserts that my family is known for best. My 2 year old daughter is starting to display quite the interest in race cars, so I would think that the dinner time conversation would consist of how a parent handles it when their child wants to start racing at such an early age. Plus I couldn’t help but find out from Denny how he managed to do so much in life already without being born into the sport like so many other drivers have done. Since he worked hard to get where he is today, I would love to know how he did it.

(photo of Denny Hamlin copyright 2010 Autostock Images)


Michael Faulkner

Judge’s comment: “Mmm… Turducken. I also like that he chose to invite Dave, who is an unsung hero for Team Interstate!”

DaveRogers I’d like to have Dave Rogers, crew chief of the NSC #18. With his background and education in engineering, he’d be very interesting to talk to. We’d have to have a turducken, as I’ve never had one of those before, and it would make for an even more memorable experience. Add in sweet potatoes, a little honeybaked ham, fresh rolls and some greens and corn, and it would be a fantastic meal. What I’d really like to hear about is how those around him, from Norm Miller and Coach Gibbs, to the drivers, to the members of the pit crew and administrative staff at JGR, have provided him with guidance that he’s used to build himself as a person. I’ve had several opportunities to meet with or hear excellent motivators, who have great life lessons to impart, and it seems that Dave has had many of those types of opportunities as well. How fascinating, then, to be able to trade some stories about those life lessons, what they mean to you and how they’ve shaped your life to this point!

(photo of Crew Chief Dave Rogers)

Angel Alchin

Judge’s comment: “It’s one thing to say she’d invite the whole JGR family. It’s another to be able to name most of them and know their stories!”

Can’t I have everyone? The whole JGR family and their families. I know that’s a lot of people to feed, but I don’t know how to pick just one. I know that no one is ever under appreciated at JGR and that is part of the reason I love them so much, but from the tire changers to the gift shop employees to the engine builders to the drivers, everyone is so important.

Without even one of those people JGR wouldn’t be what it is. If I had to narrow it down, I think I’d pick Mark Cronquist to say Thanks for the great work he did this year for all of the teams. Jason Radcliff and Dave Rogers because their ability to work with Kyle and passion for keeping him in Victory Lane fascinates me. I would ask them to reflect on the past and talk about their outlook for the future. Matt DiBenedetto to talk about his talent and his hopes for his future with JGR. He’s one of the most talented young drivers I’ve seen. His style reminds me a lot of Kyle’s except a little more controlled in his personality behind the wheel. I would tell him to continue to persevere and success will follow.

I would love to sit down with Kyle and Sam because they seem like such a great couple who will be very happy for a very long time. I would talk to Kyle about his abilities behind the wheel and his care and compassion for the less fortunate off the track. I would thank Sam for being a great partner for Kyle and talk to her about life as a NASCAR wife/girlfriend. I’d talk to her about her plans for the future and what she plans to do with her education. I’d love to sit down with the sponsors, especially Kyle’s sponsors to thank them for continuing to take a chance on him and his explosive personality.

I would also love to sit down with J.D. and Melissa to talk about everything they went through with Taylor. I’ve been sick and misdiagnosed most of my life and, at 32, I’m finally to a point where the doctors think I will be able to have kids. I’d like to ask them how they made it through just in case one of my kids has health problems like I did. I’d also like to talk to Melissa about her support of J.D. How she deals with the long weeks and absences. How she supports him even when she thinks he might be wrong and how they work through those situations.

JoeGibbs Last, but certainly not least, Joe and Pat. I would talk to him about how inspirational he has been to me and ask him how he deals with the highs and lows. I’d thank him for giving opportunities to people like Matt and Joey and for taking a chance on Kyle. I would talk to Pat about what it’s like to be married to Joe, in the past during his NFL career and now in his NASCAR career. What it was like raising J.D. and Coy. I’d ask Joe how Pat’s support has made him the man he is today. I would also ask Pat if she ever second guessed her support of Joe. Did she ever just want a normal life with a normal husband and how she overcame those feelings to continue to be such a great partner to Joe. I would love to get Joe and My Dad, both passionate in their ministries for God, in the same room. I think it would be a very interesting conversation to sit in on.

As for what I’d serve. I’d probably go with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, Ham, my special Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese, my Grandma’s Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole and Corn. I’d also ask them what their favorite food is and make them my take on it. I’d make Pumpkin Pie, my special Apple Pie, Blackberry Pie and my Sugar & Spice cake for dessert. I’d probably make Apple Streusel Coffee Cake and some of my Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for them to take home.

(photo of Joe Gibbs copyright 2010 Autostock Images)

We should emphasize again just how difficult it was to choose! Winner and runners-up, please send your mailing address to We’ll send you your prizes next week.

Thank you to everyone who entered. Great stories, all!

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