Texas Motor Speedway
3545 Lone Star Circle
Ft. Worth, Texas 76177
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Senior Citizens 65 and over $6.00
Children 12 and under $6.00
A famous philosopher by the name of Ricky Bobby gave us the most elegant of quotes when he said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Ever since this proclamation, speed aficionados have sought to bring Bobby’s philosophy to life. OK. Maybe Ricky Bobby wasn’t a philosopher and in all reality he wasn’t a real person but instead a fictional NASCAR driver character played by Will Ferrell in the hit comedy Talladega Nights. However, these words still resonate with North Texas residents because we like big cars and trucks with big engines that tend to go fast. This affinity for speed might be attributed to pure Texas attitude but it might have something to do with the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) that sits in the middle of our Metroplex.
The TMS is a 1.5 miles, four turn track that hosts some of the biggest NASCAR and IndyCar races in the country. TMS is a massive structure that can hold close to a quarter million people at its maximum capacity. The next upcoming race is the AAA Texas 500 race in November, which is expected to bring plenty of piston-pumping, fan-screaming and gas-burning action to the Metroplex for the weekend of November 3rd-6th.
AAA Texas 500 Weekend
Dates: November 3rd – November 6th 2011
Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. *hours vary by day
$31.23 –$78.39 (Saturday November 5th- O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge)
$26.23 – $150.29 (Sunday November 6th- AAA Texas 500)
It’s officially AAA Texas 500 Weekend, which means there’s tons to do! Support the Speedway Children’s Charities by heading on over to the No Limits Experience Auction to bid on some of the most amazing experiences in NASCAR. Sprint down to the AXE Salute Our Troops Pre-Race Show featuring Grammy-nominated artist Trace Adkins and swing by the No Limits Garage Party, open to all Season and November Weekend 4-pack customers. If you’re not VIP yet, don’t worry. You can still party like a NASCAR star. All you have to do is commit to becoming a 2012 Season ticket holder.
Get Behind the Wheel
Now, while it is fun to be a spectator, these big races only happen every so often. What does this concrete racing temple have to offer in between races? You might be surprised! There are five different driving schools you can enroll in to participate in some hands on learning around all four of the 24 degree turns of the TMS.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
Cost: $449 – $3499
(800) 237- 3889
Ride shotgun with a professional instructor at 165mph or get behind the wheel yourself. The Rookie program is the most popular and affordable option.
The Mario Andretti Experience
Drive a full-sized Indy-style racecar on a super speedway with no lead car at your own pace! Simply have your instructor guide you on an in-car radio. Call for prices.
The NASCAR Racing Experience
Cost: $129.99 – $2999
Borrow three-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson’s ride or spend some quality racing time in Jeff Gordon’s racecar. Ride along with an instructor or claim independence on the speedway.
Team Texas High Performance Driving School
Cost: $20 – $2720
Have you ever ridden in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Limousine? The good folks at Team Texas cut a car in half to design it so that even kids under the age of 16 could experience the thrill of TMS.
Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure
Cost: $195 – $3695
(888) 467- 2231
Founded by the 1999 Winston Cup Champion Dale Jarrett, this driving school offers a variety of packages. Start with the 4 Lap Qualifier Ride and end with the 80 Lap Championship Challenge!
Check out the websites for details.
For those of you who aren’t interested in watching races or the opportunity to race around the track yourself, there are many other entertainment options around the TMS. In addition to occasional concerts being held at the TMS and the tree lighting ceremony on November 29th, there are also some fancy options including leasing the Speedway club or owning an office or condominium in the TMS tower.
If you are trying to impress some business clients or friends, the TMS venue doesn’t disappoint. The Speedway Club is a nine-story building overlooking Turn 1 of the track. It offers a restaurant, banquet halls, meeting spaces and an award winning spa and health club.
For the uninitiated, if this all seems a bit foreign, there are daily tours from the pits to the track which will give you a good feel for the whole experience. I am pretty sure that after one race, you will become a believer in the all too simple mantra, “if you ain’t first, you’re last.” So slide on your best jean shorts, check the website for the next available race day and rev up that mini van.