NASCAR

Buddy Baker, NASCAR’s ‘gentle giant,’ dies at 74

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Buddy Baker, a former Daytona 500 winner and NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee, has died after a brief battle with lung cancer. Baker was 74.

SiriusXM NASCAR Radio announced Baker passed away early Monday morning. Baker stepped down from his role as co-host of “The Late Shift” for the station last month when he announced he had a “huge tumor” in his lung that was inoperable.

“Do not shed a tear. Give a smile when you say my name. I’m not saying goodbye. Just talk to you later,” Baker said in his final radio appearance.

Baker, who stood 6-foot-6 to earn the nickname the “Gentle Giant,” was the son of two-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker. He made his Cup Series debut in 1959 and ran his final race in 1992.

Baker won 19 races, including the 1980 Daytona 500. Among his victories were the 1970 Southern 500, and the Coca-Cola 600 in 1968, 1972 and 1973.

He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998.

Baker was the first driver to exceed 200 mph on a closed course when he did it in 1970 at Talladega Superspeedway, where he won four times. He ranks 14th in NASCAR history with 38 poles in his 700 career starts from 1959-1992. He had 202 top-fives and 311 top-10s.

Following his retirement from racing, Baker remained involved in NASCAR first as a broadcaster for The Nashville Network, then CBS and finally SiriusXM NASCAR Radio when the station started a NASCAR channel in 2007.

“I just want to say goodbye to everyone,” Baker said before signing off from his final broadcast, which lasted about 40 minutes. “Thanks for being a friend.”

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How to make Apple Pie Tacos

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s dessert … in a taco shell!

Apple Pie Tacos are easy, delicious, and kids love them! 

Apple Pie Tacos

9 soft street-taco shells (see note below)
2 tablespoons raw sugar 
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided 
5 ROCKIT® apples, skin left on and diced
2 tablespoon raw honey 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1/4 cup water, plus more
coconut whipped cream 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a plate, sprinkle raw sugar and cinnamon. Gently mix the two together. Spray both sides of the soft taco shells with nonstick cooking spray, then lightly dip both sides in the cinnamon mixture. 
2. Flip a muffin tin over. Place each cinnamon-coated soft taco shell between each of the muffin tins, so that the muffin-tin humps help the taco shell stay in place and formed. Place in the the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. 
3. To make apple filling, combine chopped apples, honey, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stir cornstarch into the 1/4 cup water and add to the saucepan. Heat on medium for about 10 minutes until apples are completely softened and gooey-thick. You may need to add more water — about another 1/4 cup — as the apples cook to create a sauce-like mixture. 
4. Spoon the apple filling into each of the taco shells. Top with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle cinnamon, or a little granola.  Enjoy immediately! 

Apple Pie Tacos (WISH Photo/Annessa Chumbley)

Note: A tortilla that’s about 3-4 inches across works great. If you need to, you can take a larger wheat tortilla, and cookie-cut it using a 3-4 inch small bowl. 

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