IRL: Top Drivers Ready for Millenium of Speed at TMS

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Jan. 20, 2000) - Some of the top drivers of professional motorsports were at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday for a media preview of the upcoming season. Enthusiasm was the theme for the day as drivers Bobby Labonte, ...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Jan. 20, 2000) - Some of the top drivers of professional motorsports were at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday for a media preview of the upcoming season.

Enthusiasm was the theme for the day as drivers Bobby Labonte, Ron Hornaday, Steve Kinser, Greg Ray, Lou Gigliotti, Bobby Archer and Indy Racing League founder Tony George shared their insights into the year ahead.

"My brother (Terry) and I always like to run here at Texas," said NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Labonte. "It really is like having a home field advantage. We have so many friends that want tickets, Terry and I are thinking about getting a suite for the race."

Two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Hornaday makes his debut in the Busch Series this year and says he is looking forward to competing in the Texas 300.

"Driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is a dream come true," said Hornaday. "I've got some big shoes to fill following Dale Jr. in the Busch Series but our goal is to do even better."

Kinser, 15-time champion of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series, is enthusiastic about the new Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. The final stages of construction are being completed on the 13,007-seat facility.

"Modern tracks like this will just make sprint car racing better and better," said Kinser. "I can't wait to turn some laps here."

The WoO series will debut at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track March 30-31 in conjunction with the DIRECTV500 race week.

Al Unser, Jr. will compete for the first time at Texas Motor Speedway in the June 10 Longhorn 500. Unser was one of many topics discussed by George.

"I've been a friend of the Unser family for years," said George. "Al (Jr.) has missed not racing at Indy and the other big events like Texas.

I'm looking forward to seeing him race against other young talents like our champion Greg Ray."

Ray echoed George's opinion in competing against the noted superstar. "I'm looking forward to coming back this year and staying focused to defend my championship."

A new road course will be built in the speedway infield this year where Metroplex residents Gigliotti and Archer will compete in the inaugural Grand Prix of Texas weekend, Sept. 2-3. The weekend will feature the American Le Mans Series, the BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series in which Gigliotti competes and the SCCA Speedvision Challenge where Archer is the defending champion.

One of the day's highlights was the "Texas Legends" luncheon featuring Lloyd Ruby, Jim McElreath, Johnny Rutherford and Greg Ray. The Texas quartet reminisced and shared racing stories with the 125 media members in attendance.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , NASCAR Cup , World of Outlaws
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte , Greg Ray , Steve Kinser , Lou Gigliotti , Bobby Archer , Tony George , Lloyd Ruby , Jim McElreath , Johnny Rutherford , Al Unser