Texas Owes its Life to Two Fallen Heros
by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.October 26, 2008 7:32 pm UTC 3 Comments
What do Texas Motor Speedway, North Wilksboro Speedway and North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham all have in common?
The former uses the Sprint Cup dates originally owned by the latter two. Bruton Smith, who’s Speedway Motorsports Inc., owns Texas, acquired The Rock and North Wilkboro for the sole purpose of stealing their race dates to redistribute them to Texas. The racing at the 1.5 mile quad-oval has been good and fast. The title of fastest un-restricted track has bounced between Texas and its clone Atlanta.
Since the race track opened to the Cup Series in 1997, there have only been two repeat winners. The #99 has won this race three times; twice with Carl Edwards behind the wheel and once; the inaugural event, driven by Jeff Burton. Burton then won again in the Richard Childress Racing #31 in the Spring of 2007.
Brian Vickers holds the qualifying track record at 196.235mph set at the Dickies 500 in 2006. Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman each have two poles and Tony Stewart has led more laps than anyone with 453.
Texas Motor Speedway’s construction began in 1995. The original configuration called for an unusual dual banking system that had 24 degrees of banking for stock cars and 8 degrees for open-wheel cars. In 1998, Turn 4 was reshaped to ease the transition from the turns to the front straight. That April, a second renovation started and was completed in less than two months. The project eliminated the dual banking and gave the track its current configuration.
photo credit: Icon Sports Media