It was a picture-perfect spring day in Fort Worth for Texas Motor Speedway's annual NASCAR Sprint Cup race with the temperatures in the mid-70s as we arrived several hours prior to the green flag being dropped to take in the scene.
The No Limits Garage Party in the massive race track's infield was the hot spot. Main stage entertainment began at 1:30 p.m. with a live DJ and music by the Time Machines from 1:50-2:45. NBC 5's sports director Newy Scruggs and Sybil Summers from 105.3 The Fan were the emcees for the driver/celebrity question and answer session that drew big crowds for the likes of NASCAR drivers Clint Boyer and Matt Kenseth, Richard Rawlings from Discovery Channel's Fast N' Loud, WWE superstar Shawn Michaels and the cast of the popular A&E show Duck Dynasty. The party also featured plenty of carnival-like fun, including throwing a football through a tire, shooting mini basketball into hoops and Lawn Mower racing.
Country music star Sara Evans headlined the pre-race show, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans who purchased the special 'Mosh Pit' tickets got the access to walk down on the track's front stretch for an up-close view of the popular singer's concert as well as the race car drivers arrival. Many of the fans also took the opportunity to sign the finish line.
The NRA 500, the first night race of the season, began at 6:30 p.m. with Pro Basketball Hall of Fame member Karl Malone giving the "Gentlemen start your engines" command and Texas Governor Rick Perry waving the green flag. The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team with driver Kyle Busch started on the pole and would go on to hold off Martin Truex, Jr.'s No. 56 car for a sweep of the weekend following his victory on Friday night in the Nationwide O'Reilly Auto Parts 300.
''To be in Victory Lane in Texas, there's nothing better,'' said Busch, who credited his pit crew for "a heck of a stop to give us that lead."
"These cars are amazing to drive," Busch added. "They're fast. They're fun.''
Next up for Texas Motor Speedway is the IndyCar Firestone 550 weekend June 7-8.
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