IRL: Texas Pre Race Notes

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Sept. 17, 1998) - The inaugural Lone Star 500 weekend has produced a several notes of interest associated with the first running of a fall race at Texas Motor Speedway. HISTORY HONORED: Race veteran Jim McElreath will serve...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Sept. 17, 1998) - The inaugural Lone Star 500 weekend has produced a several notes of interest associated with the first running of a fall race at Texas Motor Speedway.

HISTORY HONORED: Race veteran Jim McElreath will serve as the honorary starter for Sundays Lone Star 500 Pep Boys Indy Racing League event. McElreath, who lives in Arlington, progressed from the rugged Southwest dirt track circuits to become a leading Indy Car driver. McElreath won five Indy Car races in his career, twice at Langhorne, PA and once at Trenton, NJ in 1965 and at Phoenix in 1966. His most notable triumph came in the inaugural California 500 at the now-defunct Ontario Motor Speedway. McElreath serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas chapter of Speedway Childrens Charities.

LANE SELECTED: Jim Lane, Fort Worth City Councilman and President of the Fort Worth Sports Authority, will serve as Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter of Saturdays ZMax Power System (formerly Cowtown) 250 ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde inaugural at Texas Motor Speedway. As Grand Marshal, Lane will participate in pre-race activities in addition to waving the green flag over the field in Saturdays 1:00 p.m. race.

LOCAL SPORTSCASTER DONS HELMET: KXAS-TV Channel 5 sportscaster Scott Murray will trade the microphone for a racing helmet at times during the Lone Star 500 weekend. Murray, who has competed in numerous charity Legends Cars races, has purchased his own Legends car and will be seeking the checkered flag during Sunday mornings features. Murray will pilot car number 01 in the Masters Division for drivers 40 years old and above. "I guess it is time to get serious," he said. There are a lot of very talented racers I will be running against." Murray will join other Legends drivers in a Saturday practice and Sundays races.

FANS REWARDED: Race fans will be rewarded richly during the Lone Star 500 weekend. In addition to several opportunities to meet competing IRL and ARCA drivers face-to-face, two race-related promotions will reward participating spectators. Radio station WBAP-AM Newstalk 820, Texas Motor Speedways official station, will have thirty contest winners and guests seated together for Sundays Lone Star 500. Each preliminary winner will represent one of the race starters and wear a T-shirt with "their" drivers number on it. Should their driver win the Lone Star 500, the fan will receive an all-expense paid trip to Floridas Walt Disney World Resort for the opening event of the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League season at the Walt Disney World Speedway. On Thursday, KSCS-FM, the speedways official country music station, announced Rose Chavez of Plano as the winner of a new Chevrolet Sportside Pickup Truck. The "Texas Two-Step Challenge" promotion was in conjunction with Metroplex Pep Boys and True Value stores. KSCS morning show hosts Dorsey and Hawkeye will be on hand to present Chavez with the keys to her new truck prior to Sundays race.

SOUVENIR PROGRAM PRINTED ON UNIQUE PRESS: Texas Motor Speedways official collectors edition souvenir program for the Lone Star 500 and Cowtown 250 was printed on a one-of-a-kind multi-million dollar printing press in Fort Worth. Sprint Press recently debuted a Man Roland eight-color press featuring two double coaters. The Sprint Press installation was the first in the world for the new creation designed to optimize printing clarity. A special combination of air vacuums and air cushions pass the sheets through the press without coming into contact with the machine itself except for the printed images. This produces a significantly higher quality of image on each page which fans can see for themselves in the souvenir program that will be on sale all weekend. Another Fort Worth connection contributed to the program, that of graphic designer Greg Draper who completed his fourth program layout for the speedway. Nationally-known artist Sam Bass exclusive work serves as the programs cover for the fifth time in Texas Motor Speedway history.

COLD PASSES, HOT AREA: Spectators will be offered the opportunity to enter the Pep Boys IRL garage area and pits during the Lone Star 500 weekend. "Cold" pit passes which allow entry until a half hour before the start of Sundays Lone Star 500 will be on sale at Gate 5 adjacent to the frontstretch grandstands for $75 each. Each person who purchases a "cold" garage pass must also have the appropriate grandstand ticket for that specific day.

PRE-RACE PARADE A WORK OF ART: The traditional pre-race parade around Texas Motor Speedways 1.5-mile superspeedway will feature a variety of vehicles and celebrities. The pre-race parade, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, will give fans a glimpse of several "Art Cars." The creative owners of these machines will display their talents in covering automobiles with all sorts of materials, from A to Z. The "Art Cars" will be one of the featured presentations at AutoFest featuring the Pate Swap Meet at Texas Motor Speedway October 29 - November 1.

CHAMPIONS RETURN: The four driving champions from the summer Thursday Night Stampede Legends Cars and Bandolero series at Texas Motor Speedway will return seeking checkered flags in Sundays competition on the quarter-mile frontstretch asphalt oval. Austin-area drivers dominated the summer series with Eddy Wallace taking his second straight Pro Division title while racing dentist David Nelson snared his first Masters Division crown. Casey Smith, the racing eighth-grader, topped the Semi Pro class while Grapevines Josh Gilbert won the first Bandolero championship. The four will join a large field of challengers in Sundays race program. Feature races for Legends and Bandoleros will be held immediately after the spectator grandstand gates open Sunday morning.

UP-TO-THE-MINUTE RESULTS: Texas Motor Speedways World Wide Web site, www.texasmotorspeedway.com, will debut a new look during the Lone Star 500 weekend. The web site section featuring "Late News" from the speedway has been updated to include sections covering announcements, racing news and notes from Texas Motor Speedway and other facilities, racing results and racing photos. With aid of MotorSports News Services, the latest notes, qualifying, results and pictures will be on the speedway site almost instantly during the weekend.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jim McElreath , David Nelson