Texas Tour 2000 Media Day Attracts Outlaws By Richard Day FORT WORTH, TX (January 20) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' inaugural race at Texas Motor Speedway is a little more than two ...
Texas Tour 2000 Media Day Attracts Outlaws By Richard Day
FORT WORTH, TX (January 20) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' inaugural race at Texas Motor Speedway is a little more than two months away, and officials are already making plans to accommodate the many fans clamoring for tickets. That was only one item of news swirling around the Texas Tour 2000 Media Day festivities at the world's most modern speedway Thursday. "We're concerned that the normal sprint car fan is used to walking up to the gate and buying a ticket," Executive Vice President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway Eddie Gossage said. "I'm not sure we're going to have any tickets available the day of the race. That's a nice problem to have, but it's definitely a problem. We don't want to offend or hurt anybody. The fans need to buy their tickets now. We're about 70% sold out for the Friday night race and 40% sold out for the Thursday night race. "This is one of those rare situations in sprint car racing where the event could be sold out before it happens. That's good news, but it's also bad news. We want to spread the word to sprint car fans; this isn't your normal event. We're starting with 14,000 seats. We've been meeting with World of Outlaws officials about how to handle overflow crowds. We're having to make provisions already for that. We might have to bring in some temporary seats for it. I love the idea of having a sold out event though." Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series couldn't be happier about racing at four of Speedway Motorsports' six facilities this season. Sprint car racing's premier series will visit Texas Motor Speedway March 30- 31 and October 12th and 14th, Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 2-4 and October 31-November 1, Lowe's Motor Speedway May 25-26 and October 5-6 and Bristol Motor Speedway 9-10. "The World of Outlaws is extremely pleased Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., is building these facilities," World of Outlaws Founder and President Ted Johnson said. "We raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Winston Cup last March and within a year they're building two tracks. They're also going to put dirt on Bristol. This is great progress for the World of Outlaws. Our attendance figures go up dramatically as plants like this go up. It's been said these tracks will have 30-to-40,000 seats in short order, and we're looking forward to that. "As a result, our older tracks are improving. They're putting in more seats, paving the pit and parking areas and putting in hospitality suites. Eagle Raceway is increasing its seating capacity to 16,000, and we expect to sell that out in June. There are other new tracks being built also. We're very pleased with the way our track situation is improving. "The World of Outlaws is booming right now. A lot of that has to do with our partner, TNN. A couple of their people are here - Mark Kuchan and Paul Morris. We're meeting with them and we also have a production company coming in to look at the race track today. The March races at Texas Motor Speedway will be televised live. "After TNN joined us, we had Pennzoil come on board as our title sponsor. They gave us a nice sponsorship package, which made our sport really take off. "I've looked at Texas Motor Speedway's dirt track several times, and it's going to be an awesome plant. SMI is spoiling us, but I think we need to be spoiled a little bit. The only dirt we'll see here is on the race track." "King of the Outlaws" Steve Kinser can't wait to drive his #11 Quaker State Maxim on Texas Motor Speedway's semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval. "It's still dirt track racing, but it's great to be able to bring your hauler in on pavement, have a nice, clean place to work on the cars and still go out and have a good dirt track race," Kinser said. "These are the type of facilities we need now. That's a problem we have across the United States; to get the facilities to hold the fans who want to see exciting World of Outlaws races. Racing here and in Charlotte and putting dirt on Bristol will be a big plus for the organization, and we're looking forward to it." Gossage is extremely proud of the Texas Motor Speedway dirt track's unique layout. "It's being built so there will be no hazards of any kind," Gossage said. "There won't be an opening in the wall with a blunt end the cars could possibly hit in a freak accident. The cars will enter in turn two and they will exit through a tunnel under turns one and two." The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will open its 2000 season at Kings Speedway in Hanford, CA, February 25th.