Mario Batali is known to most people as both the star of the Food Network's Molto Mario and one of the Iron Chefs on Iron Chef America. Winner of numerous awards for his restaurants, Mario himself is the recipient of the 2005 James Beard All-Clad Outstanding Chef Award, the most prestigious cooking honor there is. Mario is also a huge NASCAR fan. Like many guys his age, Mario first discovered the thrill of stock car racing watching the ebullient Chris Economaki, in his Martian-style headphones, reporting live from the pit area at Daytona. Mario has been a more active racing fan these last few years, hosting prerace dinners at the track for the drivers. His restaurant Otto has become something of an unofficial hangout whenever NASCAR visits New York. He also enjoys prowling the infield to check out what die-hard racing fans like to cook on their grills, looking to pick up some down-home grilling tips. His next book, ITALIAN GRILLING, will be available from Ecco/HarperCollins in May 2008.