IRL: Texas Speedway Club

ELEGANCE MEETS RACING AT THE SPEEDWAY CLUB FORT WORTH-DALLAS -- Scheduled to open in March 1999, The Speedway Club is a spectacular $35 million nine-story structure which will offer five-star dining, a "state-of-the-art" health club and spa with...


FORT WORTH-DALLAS -- Scheduled to open in March 1999, The Speedway Club is a spectacular $35 million nine-story structure which will offer five-star dining, a "state-of-the-art" health club and spa with and more than 26,000-square-feet of banquet and meeting space.

"We didn't plan to build The Speedway Club for ten or fifteen years," said Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith. "But because of the overwhelming success we've enjoyed here, we'll have it open before the PRIMESTAR 500 race in March."

The five-star restaurant, which is three-tiered to offer the best views of the speedway, has a dance floor, custom wood paneling and elegant stone rotunda lobby. There is also a casual dining area to view telecasts of other sporting events. The health club/spa -- the second largest in the Fort Worth-Dallas area -- offers everything from a wide range of exercise programs to the "pampering" spa amenities: aerobics, free weights, steamrooms, sauna, massage areas, men and women's spa, shower-locker rooms, cardiocircuit area, manicure/pedicure rooms and more.

On the ninth floor is the spacious 26,000 square-foot ballroom, the largest west of DFW International Airport. The room, complete with 28 crystal chandeliers and a spectacular view, can be used for a sit-down dinner for 1,000, or divided into a variety of smaller banquet and meeting rooms. Since opening, the speedway's existing facilities have been the site for numerous corporate meetings, presentations and special events. The Speedway Club will provide additional meeting/banquet space which is already in demand.

"This is wonderful for the speedway, but it's also good for the area," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "As our meeting/convention business continues to grow, business will also be generated for area hotels and motels and tourism-related business, not to mention more tax dollars. The Texas Motor Speedway project is responsible for generating $5.1 million in state and local taxes last year."

While construction continues, The Speedway Club is staffing up and busily preparing for its grand opening. Several new staff members have already distinguished themselves in the club and hospitality industry.

The Speedway Club general manager Bernard van Mourik, formerly general manager of The Houston Club located in Houston, Texas, is considered one of the best in the business. Under his direction, The Houston Club was rated one of the top fifteen private clubs in the country. "I'm so excited to be part of this project," said van Mourik. "Coming here to The Speedway Club is very exciting for me. It will be one of the premier private clubs in the country."

Assistant general manager Andy Osborne has a varied background in guest service and hospitality including two years as the Director of Special Events with The Mansion at Turtle Creek and, one of Dallas' most exclusive hotels. "Bookings are going quite well," said Osborne. "We've already confirmed dozens of special events and dinners for 1999. I think people will be amazed at the service and the quality of the cuisine."

Executive Chef Paul Keese joins The Speedway Club from "Truffles and Flourishes", an upscale catering group in Houston. Keese has a wide variety of experience in hotel and corporate dining. He is already working on menus for the club, including some signature items. Several racing greats are already members, including Indy legends and Texas residents Johnny Rutherford, A.J. Foyt and Jim McElreath as well as current Pep Boys Indy Racing League driver Greg Ray, also a resident of The Lone Star State.

"We'll be giving the winner of each of our Winston Cup and IRL events a membership," said Gossage. "That begins this weekend with the Lone Star 500." Texas Motor Speedway will also be adding 4,800 seats to its state-of-art facility. The new section will be will be located in Turn 1 as part of The Speedway Club. Members can watch the race while enjoying a fabulous lunch or dinner at the club, and then walk outside and take their seat.

Membership will provide access to the club and all its privileges, including: all dining facilities; the health club and spa; conference meeting space and event banquet rooms; special parking and seating in front of The Speedway Club for all races; discounts on Luxury Suite tickets; track tours and driving schools; exclusive rights to other speedway events and a reciprocal membership agreement with The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway and other private clubs.

For information on membership or to book an event at The Speedway Club, call (817) 215-8550.

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Series IndyCar , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Ray , Jim McElreath , A.J. Foyt , Johnny Rutherford