Night racing in Texas on 2011 agenda

Texas Motor Speedway was up front that the news today would be dramatic for the 2011 IndyCar and NASCAR-CUP races. What they did not allude to before today's press conference named the Bash At House Of Blues In Dallas would be that the two series...

Texas Motor Speedway was up front that the news today would be dramatic for the 2011 IndyCar and NASCAR-CUP races. What they did not allude to before today's press conference named the Bash At House Of Blues In Dallas would be that the two series would have a different format. On hand were Bruton Smith, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) CEO and Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) President Eddie Gossage as the two made the historic announcement.

Joining Smith and Gossage were NASCAR's CEO Brian France along with the Randy Bernard, Indy Racing League's (IRL) CEO.

The main theme was night racing for both top North American series, along with a new marketing approach focus on entertainment for the fans and a new marketing campaigned called "No Limits" as Gossage said, "When it came to this special event and the 2011 schedule for our fans, the 'No Limits' theme fit just perfectly."

"We worked diligently with NASCAR and the Indy Racing League to provide a racing season with a dramatic new look for our race fans. With the move to a night Sprint Cup race and historic twin Indy-car races to go along with a NASCAR triple-header to close our season, we have a special racing season in store for the fans of Texas Motor Speedway."

The twin races for the IndyCar Series for the Firestone 550k will be a first for the series and the track. Thus, the new name for the event will be the Firestone Twin 275s with two races held on the same night and two individual race winners each receiving 50% of the usual points for an event.

"Randy and I discussed hosting twin races in January when he first took the job heading the Indy Racing League," Gossage said. "The concept has Indy-car history to it, but at the same time provides a new dynamic event to our fans as well as the drivers themselves. Texas Motor Speedway traditionally has hosted some of the series' most exciting races and the Firestone Twin 275s' format should provide plenty more in the future. Drivers have two shots at winning and fans get an opportunity to see not one but two great races in one evening. It should be a tremendous show."

For the NASCAR weekend at TMS in April, the Cup series will run for the first time at night, instead of the afternoon. Most of the on-track time for both Cup and the Nationwide series will be in the evening. To add to the historic moment, the Nationwide race will also be a night race.

"I've been around NASCAR racing at night my entire life -- from attending night races in Nashville to promoting night races at Bristol and Charlotte -- and I've always found them to be electric," Gossage said. "We've always wanted one here and this year NASCAR presented us with the opportunity to run live in prime time on FOX Sports with the Samsung Mobile 500. We jumped at the chance to provide our fans with variety in our two NASCAR events. They also will get to see our first-ever Nationwide Series night race as well when we run the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on the evening prior."

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Series IndyCar , NASCAR