FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Sept.11, 1998) - Although the Pep Boys Indy Racing League Lone Star 500 isn't scheduled to begin on Sunday, Sept. 20 until 2 p.m. (CST), the fun and action begin long before the green flag drops.
Pre-race activities at the 1.5-mile superspeedway offer race fans a variety of entertainment. Over twenty "Art Cars" will participate in the pre-race parade lap. Cars include: the Westlake Skate, an almost ten foot tall molded fiberglass boot which sits on a Volkswagon chasis; the Sea ZuZu, a 1989 Isuzu Impulse designed to look like a boat; and Betsy II -- the world's only Lego-covered cow -- a 1992 Chrysler Lebaron V-6 convertible which displays a cow mosaic using over 9,000 Legos and cow print accessories.
"The Art Cars represent an entirely different aspect of the automotive world. Many of these Art Cars will be featured at our AutoFest show in late October, and this gives our fans a preview of one of the attractions," said Eddie Gossage, general manager of Texas Motor Speedway.
An added attraction to pre-race ceremonies will be the "Sprint PCS Great American Taxi Race", an international competition featuring twelve local cab drivers representing three local cab companies. Participants and their country of origin include: Nana Mensah, Ghana; Mongkol Promtet, Thailand; Babar Daudpota, Pakistan; Inderpal Sidhu, India; Ali Razaghzadengan, Iran; Gherezghiher Araya, Eritea; Marwan Naser, Jerusalem; Theresa Barden, U.S.A; Johnny Carney, Native American - U.S.A.; Jay Malone, U.S.A.; Ernest Layinu, Nigeria; and Willie Skinner, U.S.A.
"The drivers are excited to be representing their country of origin as well as their cab company. Terminal Taxi, Choice Cabs, and Big Tex Taxi are the largest providers of ground transportation in North Central Texas. These are professional drivers and they're thrilled to be showing off their skills," said Karl Kuhlman, vice president of development for the three companies.
The cab drivers, representing various countries from around the world, will compete on pit road and the quarter-mile Legends track on the frontstretch of the superspeedway. Competitors will "race" through an obstacle course, pick up "passengers", pass through a toll booth, make a stop at the Sprint PCS store and parallel park before heading to the finish line
Additional surprises will await speedway guests prior to the start of the race. Previous pre-race events have included well-known country singers and daredevil entertainment, and the activities planned for Sept. 20 are also sure to please fans.