Quite a nice little blurb from fellow HDN reporter Amy Bell, on the rare sighting of a real sports legend visiting The ‘Dale.
When Chris Cruz came to his restaurant on Friday, he expected it would be a normal evening with his regular customers who come in to eat, drink and sing karaoke.
However, little did he know that he would meet one of the racing world’s most famous figures who was in town for the races at Michigan International Speedway.
Bobby Allison, the 1983 Winston Cup Series champion, stopped in to Margarita’s CC and Co. restaurant in Hudson, bringing with him an entourage that helped Cruz bring in double the amount of business he normally does on a Friday evening.
“How many legends from racing do we get around here that stop in?” he said. “He’s one of the big ones.”
Cruz said Allison, who was inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, stopped in with a group of about 20 people, including three country singers from Nashville and two NASCAR drivers.
While at the restaurant, Allison signed approximately 75 to 100 autographed pictures, Cruz said.
Before Allison’s arrival, Cruz said the restaurant was “pretty dead” until a members of one of NASCAR’s charter families showed up around 8 or 8:30 p.m.
Once Allison came in, people from all over started flooding in and he had more than 100 customers when normally he has about 35 to 40 on a Friday night, he said.
“We were packed to the gills,” he said. “I don’t know where they came from or what but somehow or another they got the word out that he was there and the race people started coming in.”
To top things off, Cruz said the next day, a courier came to the restaurant with six tickets to the race on Sunday which Cruz gave them to one of his employees.
Cruz said the employee, which was the only one who did not have to work on Sunday, took five of her friends and were treated to the VIP suite at the race.
“They said they treated them like royalty when they got there,” he said. “That’s great because you don’t have too many kids around here that get to have that experience.”