The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway.
SOLAR ECLIPSE WATCH PARTY OUT OF THIS WORLD
FORT WORTH, Texas (August 21, 2017)
Texas Motor Speedway staff members munched on Dickey’s “Out Of This World” BBQ sandwiches and Sun Chips followed by the just desserts of Moon Pies and Krispy Kreme “Total Solar Eclipse” doughnuts Monday as they prepped like the rest of the nation to witness the first total solar eclipse across the continental U.S. in 38 years.
But unlike the rest of the nation, the staff of approximately 80, along with local residents invited for a free public watch party in the infield, had the option of watching the eclipse over North Texas on the world’s largest TV known as “Big Hoss” or with the special glasses. Many opted for both.
Between 200 and 300 visitors rolled into the Texas Motor Speedway infield to park, unfold the lawn chairs and enjoy the historic day on the Guinness World Record-holding “Big Hoss,” which features more than 23,000 square feet of high-definition display area. The speedway filmed the eclipse with a special video camera filter from the grandstand rooftop and aired it live on “Big Hoss” and Facebook Live.
Some visitors set up as if it were a race weekend with music blaring, cocktails in hand and hanging out on the viewing deck atop their truck. Others brought their families in tow, with plenty of children in the infield enjoying the special event. One young girl from Denton skipped school today, but it was for a just cause. She worked on two science projects that would allow her to see the solar eclipse without the special glasses, including a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box with aluminum foil. She was successful with both.
Speedway staff members also visited the infield and gave some of the children celestial snack packs that consisted of a Moon Pie, Eclipse Gum, Star Crunch, Cosmic Brownie, Milky Way, Starburst, Sun Chips and Satellite Wafers.
“What an awesome crowd that came out to view the 2017 eclipse on Big Hoss, the world’s largest TV,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “It was so fun seeing some of the kids’ home-made science projects to view the eclipse, to use the special eclipse glasses and to watch it on ‘Big Hoss.’ The whole event had an interesting, fun vibe to it and everybody seemed to be having a great time. Our entire staff snacked on Moon Pies, Sun Chips, Cosmic Brownies, Milky Way candy bars and Eclipse gum. What an experience!”
North Texas only had an opportunity to see a partial solar eclipse – the moon covered 76 percent of the sun’s surface in Dallas/Fort Worth – and the maximum viewing came at 1:09 p.m. CT. However, the area will enjoy a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 with Dallas/Fort Worth being in the cherished line of totality. If the date sounds familiar for Texas Motor Speedway race fans, it should. Given the traditional dates historically of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend, the total solar eclipse could potentially fall the day after the race.
“Texas Motor Speedway may well be THE place to be for the 2024 solar eclipse because the speedway will be in the path of totality and it will be Monday, April 8, which is the day after our NASCAR Cup race’s traditional date,” Gossage said. “Many of our campers may want to stick around and enjoy the experience. I would imagine now that more people know we had the 2017 eclipse on Big Hoss, the world’s largest TV, they will be expecting it seven years from now. That’s going to be fun!”