The Greatest Grand Tradition
Every year, the people of Texas become more excited about motorsport as the calendar turns to April and the Texas Motor Speedway races get underway. It’s a tradition that has spanned more than 70 years and one that continues to grow in importance each year.
The people of Texas love their cars and their motorsport culture. The passion for both is clearly visible during the races as thousands flock to the ‘Dome to catch a glimpse of their favorite drivers. It’s a unique experience that draws people from across the state and the country to enjoy an unforgettable day out.
This year will be no different. The 70th running of the Texas Grand Prix on April 5 will, for the first time, be a Gold Cup race, the most prestigious event at the track. This will be a special day not just because it’s the 70th running of the Grand Prix, but because Dale Earnhardt Jr will be making his final appearance at the track. In fact, all three of his career victories at the speedway came in the 2018 season.
While the NASCAR season is coming to an end, the racing season is just beginning. On April 5, the temperature will reach a high, reaching well over 100 degrees, which makes this perfect weather for cooling off after a long day of racing. There will be plenty to keep an eye out for as the day progresses. You’ll notice a large number of drivers practicing during the day and qualifying at the end of the day. This indicates that the racing will be intense.
The 2018 season has just begun but already there are several races that you should keep your eye out for. The Daytona 500, the most prestigious race of the year in America, will be held on February 18. The rest of the year’s premier events will be held at Talladega Superspeedway, where the Alabama 500 is scheduled for April 16, and at the Texas 500 on April 26. These will be exciting times for motorsport fans in Texas.
Interest In Autosport Grows
Along with the passion for motorsport, the people of Texas are increasingly interested in the world of motorsport. The 2017 Texas Grand Prix drew a record crowd of 108,000 and was the most-watched race of the year, earning a 4.8 rating on ESPN. The rating is the highest for any sports event on the network this year and even topped the rating for the Superbowl. It was also the highest-rated regular-season NFL game on record. It’s clear that the people of Texas are interested in watching their favorite drivers tackle the famous oval track. It will be fascinating to see if this interest continues as the 70th running of the Grand Prix draws near.
The History Of The Cup
The original idea for the Cotton Bowl came from Bill McAnally, a track owner whose love for American Football led to the creation of this game. It was first played in 1935 and it continued to be held each year until 1961, when it was canceled due to lack of interest. The game was revived in 2013 and has continued to grow in popularity each year. The 2018 version will mark the 10th Anniversary of the revival of the game and will be played at the end of the season, once the SEC and Big XII championships have been completed. This game has truly become a symbol of Texas pride and tradition.
New Partnerships And New Venues
This year will mark several new partnerships for the Texas Motor Speedway. One of the biggest news stories to follow the speedway over the next few months will be the partnership with Monster Energy to serve as the track’s title sponsor. Monster is the premier sports drink in the world and it has been a major partner of the speedway for several years. This year’s race, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion’s Circle Cup, will serve as the official championship for the NASCAR circuit. This partnership will bring new meaning to the saying ‘a drink is always in order’ as you’ll be able to get a beer or a soda at the next NASCAR race you attend. It will also be interesting to see how much interaction there is between the two companies’ logos as this year’s event is set to be held under the big kahuna of a cloudy sky. It’s safe to assume that it will be raining somewhere nearby as it often is in Texas, but this year the weather should be perfect for an outdoor football game.
The track itself has changed a lot since it first opened its gates 70 years ago. Back then, the track was made up of a single mile of dirt oval. There were just 15 turns, the grandstands were wooden, and there was no formal pits. These days, the speedway is a completely different animal. There are now six separate tracks, all held under high-tension lighting. This year will see the reopening of the speedway‘s hallowed turf. It will be interesting to see how it has changed over the years.
The Future Of The Sport
The future of the sport seems promising, especially as more and more people in Texas are getting into it. The 2017-18 NBA season was the highest-rated in the history of the league. There were 24 games that drew over 100,000 viewers and there were nine games that delivered over 250,000. It was the rebirth of the NBA in Texas and it showed in the sales of the teams. The Dallas Mavericks had their best year ever, delivering a franchise-record 38 wins. The Houston Rockets, now under new management, saw their win total rise from 24 to 38, while the former Oklahoma City Thunder still haven’t recovered from their tragedy. The NBA will always be popular in Texas but the game has never been more alive.
It seems that everyone in Texas is a sports fan. Not only do they support their local teams, but many have a favorite driver that they follow everywhere. The passion for both is clearly visible every April as the seasons change and the temperatures rise. The people of Texas are proud of their state and their culture and they show it through their love of cars, sports and American Football. This is something to celebrate.