4th of July Grillin’ with Gilles

SRT President Ralph Gilles drove down to Mid-Ohio from Michigan to give support during Viper testing and to grille steaks for everyone on July 4.
Posted on Jul 12, 2012

Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT Brand and Motorsports, drove down to Mid-Ohio from Michigan to give support during Viper testing and to grille steaks for everyone on July 4. SRT race engineer Matt Bejnarowicz had the idea and Ralph jumped on it.

Ralph brought his Big Green Egg super grille, crammed into the back seat of his 300 SRT8, to the amazement of everybody. The Egg has a real presence. "It was a Christmas present from Sergio," he said. Sergio Marchionne gave one to each of his staff. "When I first saw it," he said, "I was like, 'What?' but then I learned what it can do. Amazing."

Matt, along with road racing manager Gary Johnson and SRT team member Jack Kulick, searched the local Kroger stores to find and buy 30 steaks for the team. They also picked up ears of corn, along with 300 pieces of chicken and enough fixings to make dozens of Shish Kabob.

The pair then spent the evening in the lobby of their hotel in Mansfield, Ohio, cutting peppers and onions. Everything was assembled at the track, making good use of a workbench in the garage area. Watermelon and baked beans completed the lunch menu.

Team members were all smiles as they joined the feast at lunchtime. One of them quipped, "I was hoping for roast beef sandwiches and cookies," the all-too-usual crew food at trackside. Bejnarowicz christened the meal by sticking a lighted sparkler in team manager Bill Riley's steak—celebrating Independence Day to boot. Now that's teamwork!

Oh, and there were cookies for dessert.

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