O’Reilly Auto Parts 500



FORT WORTH, Texas (March 15, 2018)

Andrew Blejde lives roughly 1,600 miles from Texas Motor Speedway.

A resident of New York City, the 26-year-old spends his days as a software engineer for J.P. Morgan. When he isn’t developing programming for the financial services leader in the Big Apple, he’s following all the big news at Texas Motor Speedway via social media.

So when he saw on Twitter that tickets were officially on sale for the new Restart Bar, “I was immediately on the phone,” he said.

“There’s really no race like one put on by Eddie Gossage and everyone at Texas Motor Speedway,” said Blejde, who has been making the annual trek to Fort Worth for the last four years.

Blejde, who grew up just down the road from Jeff Gordon’s hometown of Pittsboro, Ind., has been traveling to race tracks across the country with his best friend, Johnny, since their college days together at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Johnny, a member of the United States Air Force who is now stationed in Oklahoma City, and Blejde have made it a tradition to attend NASCAR races together whenever they can. Their first venture was to nearby Indianapolis Motor Speedway — only an hour’s drive from Purdue — for the Brickyard 400.

Trips to Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, to name a few, followed, but it was the duo’s trip to Texas Motor Speedway in 2015 that turned an annual tradition to different tracks into an annual tradition to the Lone Star State.

“We have been to races at roughly 12 tracks across the country, however, nothing compares to Texas Motor Speedway in both the festivities as well as the care that goes into putting on a great race for the fans,” Blejde said. “A prime example being the ingenious “Tire Monster” to rubber in the race track after the repave last year.”

The Restart Bar will debut with the My Bariatric Solutions 300 XFINITY Series race on Saturday, April 7, and then for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, April 8. 

Located 26 rows above the Restart Zone on the frontstretch, the outdoor seating area features half-round tables, bar stools and fixed seats at bars backed by high-definition television monitors. Club guests also will have access to a climate-controlled indoor area to share conversation, beverage service and follow the race action on a number of HDTVs.

Blejde will not be the furthest-traveled ticket-buyer sitting in the Restart Bar this season. Blejde, who moved to Indiana from Australia with his family when he was eight years old, will have four fellow Aussies visit the club for November’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Playoffs tripleheader weekend.

The Restart Bar also will be available for the DXC Technology 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR/SuperTrucks tripleheader June 7-9 and the AAA Texas 500 tripleheader Nov. 1-4.

“We really thought it sounded like a great idea,” Blejde said, “so Johnny and I will be continuing our Texas tradition — in style.”

Tickets for the Restart Bar start as low as $100 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in June and November; $150 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series races in April and November as well as the June Verizon IndyCar Series race; and $200 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in April and November. For additional information, please call the speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500 or visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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