Seniors experience the Wheel deal
by Clarissa Aljentera, Star-Telegram
26 March 2003
FORT WORTH _ Merlene Waits didn't know what Meals on Wheels would bring for her first meal.
But she certainly wasn't expecting NASCAR Winston Cup driver Larry Foyt to bring a spaghetti casserole with mixed vegetables to her door.
Foyt, in town for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, delivered meals to four senior adults, including Waits.
"It was a total surprise for me. I thought it was exciting," Waits said.
Foyt was escorted by a police motorcade, local news media outlets and several representatives from Harrahs Casino and Meals on Wheels. Harrahs, his principal sponsor, has pledged $1 million to Meals On Wheels for three years.
Police escorts were necessary because his car is not built for stop-and-go traffic and cannot stop at lights or stop signs.
Police Sgt. Harold Baxter greeted Foyt and then stashed some autographed hats into his motorcycle's storage bin before escorting Foyt.
"I'm not a big fan, but my girlfriend is," Baxter said.
Foyt said he was glad his race car, No. 14, and name could bring attention to Meals On Wheels.
"For me, it is about meeting the seniors and the interaction,"said Foyt, son of racing legend A.J. Foyt. "We get so busy in our normal lives this has opened up a new side of life."
Foyt, a Texas Christian University graduate, was joined by area leaders including Pier 1 CEO Marvin Girouard; Americard Chief Financial Officer Dan Berce and his wife, Annie; TCU Emeritus Chancellor William Tucker; and Rosie Moncrief, wife of former state Sen. Mike Moncrief.
Rosie Moncrief, a racing fan, rode with Foyt for a couple of stops.
"When I arrived this morning, I thought I'd be riding in a PT Cruiser [to deliver the meals]," Moncrief said. "I was extremely excited getting to meet him and ride with him. I'm absolutely pulling for Larry."