This past weekend Texas Motor Speedway was not only full of life and excitement, but also made history. The weekend began Thursday afternoon with the Samsung Galaxy Tab Qualifying Days for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Texan James Buescher, a native of Plano, landed his first-ever pole position in the series! Then Alex Tagliani followed up his Indianapolis 500 pole position with another IndyCar Series pole here at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon.
The WinStar World Casino 400k NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was held Friday night. The truck drivers put on a show that set track records with 11 lead changes and 10 cautions! After a late caution, the field took the green flag with Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday Jr. lined up side by side. Sauter appeared to take the win but was black flagged on the restart of the green-white/ checkered finish for not maintaining his lane, which resulted in Hornaday Jr. claiming the victory.
Saturday’s on-track events were kicked off with an intense and entertaining pre-race show. Seven Formula DRIFT drivers, including last year’s rookie-of-the-year Fredric Aasbo, took part in the Ultimate Drifting presented by SCION and Motegi Racing pre-race show to give fans a taste of this growing sport. Aasbo was joined by fellow Formula Drifters Michael Essa, Kyle Mohan, Joon Maeng, Tony Brakohiapa, Ken Gushi and Chris Forsberg for the competition on the speedway’s frontstretch ¼-mile oval. They demonstrated why drifting is quickly becoming a sport worth watching in the Ultimate Drifting presented by SCION and Motegi Racing pre-race show prior to the evening’s Firestone Twin 275s IndyCar Series races. The drivers had to maneuver their cars with controlled sideways slides to compete against each other. There were plenty of burnouts and slides that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. In the end, Aasbo showed why he was crowned the rookie of the year as he took home his first-ever trophy from Texas Motor Speedway.
The Speedway made history times two by holding its first-ever Firestone Twin 275s IndyCar Series races Saturday night. Dario Franchitti won race one and celebrated in Victory Lane while the track was prepared for the pre-race show. The second race was determined by a random selection of starting positions by the field of drivers. The finishing line-up from race one was inverted so that the last-place finisher got to select from a wall of Firestone tires. Upon selecting their tire and turning it around, the driver revealed which starting position they would have for race two. Tony Kanaan picked the right tire and got to start from the pole while Franchitti was bumped all the way to the back of the pack. However, Will Power, who drew the third starting position, was strong in the second race and went on to take the win in race two. Then a rare moment in motorsports happened when the two drivers and their teams both were standing in Victory Lane side by side celebrating their wins in the inaugural Firestone Twin 275s.
Not all the excitement was happening on the track though. There was plenty of exhilaration and eager fans walking the midway before the races and checking out Saturday’s Traffik car show. Friday’s truck series and Ultimate Drift autograph sessions were a huge hit! Many fans came to get signatures from their favorites and were eager to talk to their favorite truck series driver. The Ultimate Drifting drivers also had an autograph session with their cars on display for the fans to see. It was an incredible weekend! One full of exciting events and great racing!