MORE THAN 5,000 PACK THE TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY INFIELD FOR THE WORLD'S LARGEST DAYTONA 500 WATCHING PARTY
FORT WORTH, Texas (February 17, 2019)
With the NASCAR season kicking off this weekend, fans really had two choices of where to watch the Daytona 500. They could be in Daytona itself to see the Great American Race, or they could take the alternative and watch it at The Great American Speedway. For more than 5,000 race fans, a date with Texas Motor Speedway was the way to go.
350 RVs packed the infield campground Saturday and Sunday, taking in the action on all 22,698 square feet of “Big Hoss TV.” It’s serious business too. The first RV arrived at TMS on Thursday night, and by Friday night they were lined up in the outer staging area.
"This just feels like we’re part of the action, and we get to see our NASCAR family one more time," Grapevine, Texas, resident Ashley Douglas said. "We come every year. The atmosphere, you’re at the track, they’ve got the pace cars going around, and everyone’s got their pizza ovens and cornhole. It’s just like you’re part of it."
As Douglas mentioned, the allure of camping out in front of the world’s largest HDTV wasn’t the only thing bringing people out to the track. The free weekend included pace car rides in the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS or the 2019 Chevrolet Impala. Radio stations 95.9 The Ranch, 92.1 Hank FM, and 99.5 The Wolf held promotions and live remotes from the track. There was also a special screening of the race and lunch for more than 100 members of The Speedway Club in the Grand Ballroom.
O'Reilly Auto Parts, which features more than 5,000 locations across the country, held a hospitality event Sunday for more than 2,000 of its commercial business partners. The event, staged in the Cup Garage in the Texas Motor Speedway infield, featured outdoor games and an O’Reilly Auto Parts show car, as well as TVs in the garage for those wanting to watch the Daytona 500 inside rather than outside on "Big Hoss TV."
“Seeing so many people representing one of our title sponsors, O’Reilly Auto Parts, is really one of the highlights of the weekend,” Texas Motor Speedway President/GM Eddie Gossage said. “When one company brings more than 2,000 people it gives us a chance to entertain those who are already race fans, but it also offers the opportunity to create new fans. Once you see the facility from the infield and really get a taste for the size of it, including Big Hoss, you’re hooked.”
Slaton, Texas, resident Karen McGwier and her family came to the watching party for the first time last year, and this year she knew they were coming back in a big way. McGwier’s campsite decorations earned her an O’Reilly Auto Parts gift card for best campsite.
“We heard about the competition. We didn’t know there was a prize. We just wanted the fun of doing it,” McGwier said. “We’re at the race so what else could be better than doing our own race set up?”
The campsite featured cutouts of cars driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Hemric, and Brad Keselowski. It was finished off with a large cutout meant for people to use as a selfie station.
“You come in behind it, take the picture, and now I’m the winner. I’m number one,” McGwier said, with her head sticking through the driver’s window.
Fans may purchase tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 tripleheader or season tickets for all of Texas Motor Speedway's race events by calling the speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com