The Orfanides family will not get a chance to watch the DAYTONA 500 together as a family this year – but that’s not a completely bad thing.
Janalee Orfanides was selected as the grand prize winner of the GateHouse Media DAYTONA 500 Sweepstakes, so she’ll be at the famed speedway when the green flag falls on NASCAR’s biggest race of the season. Orfanides beat out more than 100,000 entries.
“And I only entered once,” Orfanides said with a grin.
Orfanides’ grand prize package includes airfare to Orlando, seven nights lodging in the Geico Grounds RV Camping site at the famed racetrack, tickets to the Can-Am Duel, NextEra Energy Resources 250, PowerShares QQQ 300 and the DAYTONA 500.
Orfanides’ prize also includes access to Gatorade Victory Lane following the DAYTONA 500, as well as a photo with the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy during her stay.
“For many years, GateHouse Media’s Daytona Beach News Journal has had a very strong partnership with Daytona International Speedway. In 2016, we expanded this partnership to include national and regional sweepstakes,” said Rebecca Capparelli, GateHouse Media Executive Director of Promotions. “The most recent sweepstakes is awarding a VIP trip to the DAYTONA 500 this coming weekend. This sweepstakes was wildly popular and we had over 100,000 entries… demonstrating the high interest in this marquee sporting event.”
If there was a rub to being the grand prize winner – it is that the prize package was for two people.
Orfanides and her husband Keith are the proud parents of 15-year-old quadruplets – leaving the family with a very important decision.
“My husband and I couldn’t leave the children for a week, so I was thinking about not going,” Janalee said. “But then the kids made the decision for me.”
Janalee will be joined by son Bryce, who was basically selected as the children’s grand prize winner.
“Bryce likes racing the most,” Janalee said.
So with Keith, Elias, Tanner and Gabby staying home, Janalee and Bryce will leave Wednesday for their adventure.
“Someone from GateHouse is meeting us at the airport and we’re going to go to Sam’s Club to stock up the RV,” Janalee said. “Then they’ll take us to the track and our RV.
“We’ve been to Daytona before as a family, but staying there in an RV has been kind of a bucket list item for me,” Janalee said. “And it just plopped in my lap.”
As a family, the Orfanides have also been regulars at Watkins Glen International, while also visiting NASCAR tracks in Dover, Pocono and Richmond.
While son Bryce will be rooting for Joey Logano, Janalee said she is hopeful that Reed Sorenson makes the race.
“I love an underdog story,” said Janalee – a true underdog story, herself.