I was exposed to NASCAR in my early 20s when my then husband would spend Sunday afternoons kicked back in a recliner, watching cars speed around a track. At first, I just rolled my eyes and wondered how anyone could sit and watch multiple cars zip around and around the same track. I didn't get it. So, I'd leave the room and do my own thing and then check in towards the end to catch the last 10 laps. It wasn't until we went to a live race in Louden, New Hampshire that I fully understood the enormity of this sport. Fans are passionate about their drivers and teams. These drivers are considered celebrities. The race was actually a lot of fun to watch in real life. As was the people watching!
I started watching televised races, too. Though I did skip out once in a while - or multi-task while watching. I think I may have picked Bobby Labonte at the time as the guy I'd cheer for. I liked his green car. And he seemed like a really nice guy in interviews. I'll never forget watching the Daytona 500 and the crash that took Dale Earnhardt's life. We grieved with the entire NASCAR family for days.
This cake was for a NASCAR themed 50th birthday party. Danny's wife was surprising him with tickets to go see the Daytona 500 in February - so we knew that part had to be represented on the cake. I asked who his favorite driver was and his wife said it will probably always be Earnhardt. So, I suggested that we commemorate him on the cake somehow.
The top tier is a hand-cut logo out of fondant. The bottom tier include's Dale's number and an autographed portrait that was hand-painted on the cake using diluted black gel food color. Painting on cakes is fun, but a little stressful. You only get one shot!
Happy Birthday, Danny! Hope you enjoyed your trip to the Daytona 500!