YOU HAD ME AT RED VELVET FUNNEL CAKE – Continuing its tradition of offering fun fair foods, Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering a new red velvet funnel cake for fans at this weekend’s Bank of America 500. Media samples of this delectable treat, topped with cream cheese frosting and powdered sugar, will be available in the Media Center Saturday. Popular past culinary delights include chocolate-covered bacon, barbecue sundaes, the funnel bacakonator and deep-fried cupcakes.

WHISKY RIVER – Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s bar Whisky River has become synonymous with fun and partying in the Charlotte area. This weekend, he’s brought the party to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Set up in the Ford Grandstands near Turn 1, Whisky River’s temporary Charlotte Motor Speedway outpost will feature all the best features of the local watering hole, including a DJ, mechanical bull, adult beverages and delicious food.

This ultimate bar scene is open to all grandstand ticket holders.

CATLIN AWARD CONTINUES – Entry forms for the Charlotte Motor Speedway Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism will be passed out today in the Media Center, as the award continues for the 28th year.

The 2012 awards will be presented during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. Awards are presented to individuals who capture the enthusiasm, passion and attention-grabbing stories of motorsports through distinguished journalism. Awards winners from 2011 were Justin Burnett (SPEED), Broadcast-National; Alan Cavanna (WSOC-TV), Broadcast-Local; David Caraviello (, Writing-Other; Don Coble (Morris News Service), Writing-Daily; and Will Lester (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin), Photojournalism.

SATURDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITIES – Country music rockers Big & Rich will be available in Victory Circle at 3 p.m. Nik Wallenda will be available following his tightrope walk in Winner’s Circle at approximately 6:35 p.m.

Race Fans Can Tune to Family Broadcast – Race fans young and old in attendance for tonight’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race can tune into the special “Turtle Powered” family broadcast of the race. The broadcast will also feature Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at the television show.

NASCAR broadcasters and their children will help call all of the action. Among those announcing will be Scott Joy, son of Gaye and Mike Joy; Jarrett Andretti, son of John Andretti; and Larry McReynolds and his daughters Brooke and Kendall.

Pit reporters will include Ford Martin, son of crew chief Gil Martin, and 14-year-old Pro All-Star Series driver Gray Gaulding. Fans can listen to the broadcast on their track scanner at frequency 454.000