FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Everything’s bigger in Texas. It’s a popular saying that holds true for a lot of things, including our sports facilities. And there are none bigger than the Texas Motor Speedway.READ MORE: DFW Nonprofits To Start Holiday Drives Early Due To Supply Chain Concerns
Since TMS opened its gates for its first race in April 1997, it has been impressing race fans with its sheer size, unique amenities and attention to detail.
TMS president Eddie Gossage has been there since the beginning. “We knew when we came here over 20 years ago to build this that you had to build it Texas-style,” he said. “You had to build it big, and you had to make a big, bold Texas statement.”
Gossage said that the infield alone is so massive that four-and-a-half AT&T Stadiums could fit inside of it. It’s got more skybox seats than any other sports venue in the world, 76 luxury condos overlooking the track and, for the last two years, it has been home to the ‘Big Hoss’ television screen. “It’s, I want to say, 220 feet wide and 100 feet tall,” said Gossage, “which makes it the biggest TV in the world, which is an amazing thing.”
But things were not always sunshine and roses at TMS. For the first couple of years, it was the race track itself that caused plenty of upset. “We got a lot of negative feedback from the drivers who didn’t care for the race course itself,” said Gossage. “Everything else was perfect, but the race track needed some work. And we did fix the track, made some changes, so they could race better on it.”READ MORE: Arlington Police Officer Shoots, Kills Suspect Who Allegedly 'Drove Directly Towards Officer'
And things have only gotten bigger and better since. Gossage said that he never stops thinking of ways to please drivers and fans alike. TMS is the location for the Team Texas NASCAR-style racing school, the Fittipaldi Exotic Driving School and a class that teaches teenagers safe driving techniques. There is so much going on that TMS is hopping almost every day of the year.
“Generally, something is going on 300 days a year here at the race track. It could be a racing school, TV commercials and shows, concerts in the parking lot,” said Gossage. “We keep it busy.”
And for the hungry race car fan, everything’s better with bacon, right? How about bacon-flavored cotton candy or ice cream shakes? “First of all, you have to work with the premise that bacon is meat candy,” said Gossage. “So, if you infuse bacon into whatever you’re doing, it’s a slam dunk.”
And what other speedway offers a country club environment for its members? Complete with a state-of-the-art gym and spa services that include manicures, pedicures and massages — it’s not exactly what you’d expect to find at a race track.
“You look at other race tracks around the country, and this is the most successful speedway to ever open its doors, and I don’t think that people who live here locally realize that,” said Gossage. “This is an outlier. This is an anomaly. It’s not like this elsewhere.”MORE NEWS: Small Plane Overturns At Dallas Executive Airport
And Gossage wouldn’t have it any other way. He has even more surprises up his sleeve for the 2016 season. It begins April 8, so stay tuned.