New chef looks for bankable treat for TMS race weekend

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA Sports

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 6:07 PM

FORT WORTH -- With thousands of fans filing into Texas Motor Speedway for race weekend this weekend, TMS officials are looking to find their own unique sports venue treat to match up with items like the "Boomstick" at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

In order to do it, they hired new chef Joel Pena to work year round in the Speedway Club, and of course he's in charge of all the food for race weekend.

Pena has a unique background himself. He used to be an accountant at a restaurant, but when their chef quit, he helped out in the kitchen and was so good that they hired a new accountant.

Chef Pena introduced his newest creation for the media Friday, called Pit Stop Popcorn -- basically chocolate-covered popcorn.

"We're trying to come up with unique items for the concession environment here at Texas Motor Speedway, that way every fan that comes to TMS can find it and look for it next race," Pena said. "The popcorn that we're trying today is one of the first steps, and we're going to see what else we can do in the next few months."

For the race next April, his job is to come up with a state-fair-themed food idea. It might be the Pit Stop Popcorn if it's a hit, but he's also currently working on bacon cotton candy.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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