FORT WORTH-DALLAS (August 10, 1998) - Hearing mention of the two-step conjures images of couples spinning around a dance floor. But this Texas Two-Step contest has nothing to do with dancing - and everything to do with racing at Texas Motor ...
FORT WORTH-DALLAS (August 10, 1998) - Hearing mention of the two-step conjures images of couples spinning around a dance floor. But this Texas Two-Step contest has nothing to do with dancing - and everything to do with racing at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Pep Boys Indy Racing League driver who scores the most points, according to IRL rules, from the June 6 True Value 500 and the Sept. 20 Lone Star 500 will win an additional $100,000 prize and the Texas Two-Step Championship.
The driver who finishes second in points will win an additional $50,000.
Billy Boat, winner of the True Value 500, has the advantage heading into the Lone Star 500 with 54 points for his June victory. Plano's own Greg Ray is right behind him with 40 points for his second place finish. Other drivers in the hunt include: current IRL series points leader Kenny Brack with 35; Scott Goodyear with 32 and Scott Sharp rounding out June's top five finishers with 30 points.
"We're ready for a showdown on the speedway for the Texas Two-Step Championship," said Eddie Gossage, speedway general manager. "These guys race hard each and every time they compete, but with an additional $100,000 prize on the line, it's going to make for a very interesting event. We're happy to have Pep Boys and the Indy Racing League taking part in and supporting the program."
A special trophy -- a pair of hand-carved wooden boots -- was commissioned for the event.
Robert Cortez never realized the impact a Boy Scout leader would have on his life. At the age of twelve, Cortez joined a "poor" scout group whose scout master, Lupe Felipe, taught the boys "we will make what we need".
"He was the greatest influence in my life," said Cortez. "I learned the basics of carving from him."
Cortez was commissioned to carve a pair of boots for the Texas Two-Step Trophy for Texas Motor Speedway. Not only had Cortez never designed a trophy, he had never carved a pair of boots before. Furthermore, time was of the essence as Cortez had to have the trophy completed in five days.
The Pep Boys Indy Racing League and Texas Motor Speedway were preparing for a press conference to announce the "Texas Two-Step" - a special award given to the highest points holder form the June 6 and Sept. 20 Pep Boys Indy Racing League races at Texas Motor Speedway. Officials from both organizations wanted a trophy for display during the announcement, but due to the time factor involved, neither party was sure if a trophy could be done.
Cortez stepped up to the task. Over the course of Memorial Day weekend, Cortez spent over 20 hours carving the trophy at the Working Artist Network booth during ArtFest in Dallas.
"It was an honor to work on the trophy for Texas Motor Speedway. Not only did it help my career, but I helped the Working Artist Network gain recognition," said Cortez
Cortez, a full-time heavy-equipment mechanic at the Fort Worth branch of Darr Equipment company, is also owner and operator of the Wood Horseman Co. and works on his carvings every day.
So, at the conclusion of the Sept. 20 Lone Star 500, one driver will waltz away with a unique trophy and $100,000 to boot.
This is one Two-Step that no driver wants to sit out.