Anyone who is familiar with the Texas Motor Speedway undoubtedly knows that its president Eddie Gossage is a master at putting on a good show for loyal fans -- in this case it was 146,000 people who spent Sunday afternoon in Fort Worth. After last year's AAA Texas 500 had a storybook ending, with the top two leaders in the points standings (Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart) finishing first and second and Gossage promoting the race from a boxing standpoint with a 'Tale of the Tape' between the two drivers, you'd think there was no way he could top that.
With this year's election as a backdrop, the two names that appeared on the ballot were Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski -- the top two drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. For the second straight year, Gossage looked like a genius as the race came down to Johnson and Keselowski battling through a series of restarts and cautions. The last of the restarts saw Johnson and his No. 48 Chevrolet take off past Keselowski’s No. 2 Dodge as they crossed the start/finish line and cruise to victory on the final lap for his second win in Fort Worth.
All that being said, even Gossage could not have arranged for a more amazing weather day for the fans who began arriving early to enjoy the pre-race festivities that included the No Limits Wild Asphalt Circus carnival that had the vibe of a mini-State Fair. The traditional concert known as the AXE Salute Our Troops Pre-Race Show was the popular Denton-based Eli Young Band. The concert kicked off at 12:20 -- roughly an hour and a half prior to the green flag dropping -- and one of the unique aspects of the pre-race show is the "Mosh Pit" ticket that allows fans to go down on the track and watch from right up against the stage.
The grand marshals for this year's AAA Texas 500 were cast members from the popular TNT series Dallas. Don't be surprised to see Texas Motor Speedway pop up in a few episodes in the upcoming season that begins on January 28th.
NASCAR returns to Fort Worth on April 13th, 2013 with the Saturday night race "Under the Lights." For information on tickets, visit here.
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