10 Apr Don’t Mess with Texas Motor Speedway
The Texas Motor Speedway was added to NASCAR’s track lineup less than 20 years ago, but it has quickly become a popular raceway among fans. Everything is bigger in Texas, right? This holds true to the Texas Motor Speedway! If you’ve never been to TMS, it can be hard to appreciate the massive size of the superspeedway. Did you know it’s one of the largest sports facilities in the U.S.? It’s a good thing, too, because thousands of die-hard NASCAR fans from all across the country head to the Lone Star State to watch all of the race day excitement!
A celebrity-filled ground breaking took place in April 1995, where Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte and Jeff Gordon all assisted Speedway Motorsports CEO Bruton Smith with construction in Fort Worth, Texas. Upon completion, TMS was already one of the nation’s largest sports facilities but additions were soon made to further enrich racing fans’ visit to the speedway. The Speedway Club offers special benefits to race enthusiasts and was added in a nine-story building above Turn 1. The Lone Star Tower condominiums were added as a new feature to TMS, located outside of Turn 2. Each condo has a floor to ceiling glass wall that faces the speedway and offers spectacular panoramic views.
For a short while during the track’s construction, the Texas Motor Speedway’s name was switched to Texas International Raceway. The new name was short-lived since a small dirt raceway in Alvin, Texas had the same name and filed suit to use the name. No matter what the track’s name was, several NASCAR drivers have had good luck at the speedway. Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. both earned their first Cup win at TMS and Burton also holds the track record for the most laps completed, with 6697. Have you ever given any thought as to where NASCAR’s dual lap counters originated? You can thank Texas Motor Speedway for that! TMS was the first speedway to display race laps by counting down and counting up, indicated by different colored lights that show how many laps are left in the race and how many have been completed.
The track’s long straightaways and moderate banking make for high speeds and loads of excitement. The Texas Motor Speedway is one of the fastest non-restrictor plate tracks in NASCAR, with qualifying speeds of 196 mph. The 1.5 mile track has become a fan favorite and is even deemed The Great American Speedway! Not only is TMS home to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each year, but it also hosts the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, as well as the Izod Indycar Series. Besides the 1.5 mile oval, TMS also houses four infield course variations, a 1/5 mile Lil’ Texas Motor Speedway and a .4 mile oval Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
It doesn’t matter if you’re watching the race from the bleachers or from your couch; you can still cheer loud and show some love for Texas Motor Speedway. Saturday’s race is a night race so you’ll get to see TMS lit up, with enough lighting to illuminate 11 NFL stadiums. That’s a lot of light, but there’s only one driver we want to see in the spot light…our very own Clint Bowyer! Good luck Clint!