FACT: There's been an 18% increase in contest participation by members in the past year    
FACT: 64% of KCBS members own three or more grills/smokers    
FACT: 70% of our members grill-out/cook BBQ more than 25 times per year    
FACT: 56% of Americans report having a smartphone, 77% of KCBS members do    
FACT: 70% of KCBS members use Facebook    
FACT: 55% of members choose charcoal when cooking for leisure    
FACT: 23% of KCBS members work in the food service industry as a restauranteur or caterer    
FACT: Learning from friends, family and at competitions is the best way to improve cooking skills    
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November 3, 2009
The combination of slow cooking and fast cars proved to be a winner at Talladega Superspeedway.

The cook team of “I Smell Smoke” captured the overall grand prize of $10,000 in the inaugural KINGSFORD DEGAQUE BBQ Championship, which was presented by KC Masterpiece and held Friday and Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway in conjunction with the AMP Energy 500 Weekend.

The Kingsford DegaQue, which was also the Alabama BBQ Championship, drew more than 100 teams from 22 states. In addition to the grand prize, I Smell Smoke also won first place in the pork ribs category. Troy Black with team Learn2Q.com took first prize in the chicken category with a perfect 180 score. Hot-Nas Kookers finished first in the pork category, while Chix, Swine & Bovine claimed the brisket division. Team QUAU captured top honors in the sauce category.

The performance of I Smell Smoke also sent smoke signals throughout the industry because of the Team of the Year awards. As it stands now, the team is only 18 points behind Rod Gray's Pellet Envy, which has led the points race for several months now. Both teams are expected to race hard to the finish by competing in other competitions this year.

In all, 45 of the top 70 teams on the KCBS circuit competed in the Kingsford DegaQue Championship, which proved that KCBS enthusiasts and NASCAR fans can come together for common interests.

With a total of $50,000 in guaranteed prize money, DEGAQUE is one of the richest contests sanctioned by KCBS. But the true reward, according to organizer Ron Cates, comes from winning a contest held in the barbeque hotbed of Alabama.

“The Kingsford DEGAQUE was created to bring the best barbequers in the world to the Talladega Superspeedway,” organizer Ron Cates said. “It’s about more than the prize money; it’s about pride and respect. To win here, among all the great teams, is no easy feat.

“Plus, what better place to hold a competition than the biggest, fastest, most competitive motorsports facility in the world? Barbecue and racing just go hand in hand.”

Cates said that he expects more NASCAR venue competitions in 2010, and that he's working closely with track owners to make the contests even better for the fans, the cook teams and the many KCBS volunteers who came out to support this partnership of two great sports.
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