Texas Motor Speedway’s 20th anniversary promises to be memorable when IndyCar arrives at the fast, recently reconfigured mile and a half oval this weekend. Expect the racing to be worlds apart from what we saw in Detroit.
The series has held twenty eight races and counting since TMS opened, with almost all of them being extremely entertaining wheel to wheel wonderment. The repave and reconfiguration of the banking in turns 1 and 2 lessened it from 24 to 20 degrees and widened the track from 60 to 80 feet. Four time Texas winner Helio called it “completely new” and Pags called it “a different layout” after testing there in April. Honda teams were limited in their testing, with several not participating due to mileage concerns. We certainly hope all these changes didn’t screw up the track or the racing. That’d be earth shattering.
Photo from sports.usatoday.com
Ragin’ Graham Rahal won a riveting race – weather disruptions aside – in the closest IndyCar finish at the track last year. That’s saying something. Winless on the season Scott Dixon won the previous year in a rare Texas laugher, his second time shooting the six guns. Ed Carpenter triumphed in another typically exhilarating contest in 2014 making a statement heard round the world.
It’s been a banner year for the Japanese as Honda’s domination is real, taking five of eight rounds thus far including the last three in a row. Rahal’s been red hot of late taking both races in Detroit and knows his way around TMS. Smarting as Honda piles up the wins, Team Penske should have something for the track the team’s won at multiple times, although it has been several years. Ganassi’s Dixon has had a difficult season so far and probably would give the world to break out soon.
Photo from foxsports.com
The stage is set for a Saturday night of 220 mph exquisite oval racing under the lights at TMS. That is to say, it’ll be nighttime for the final stages of the race. They really should consider pushing the start time back a bit, as the cars look even faster and more amazing at night.
Happily, the “worldwide leader in sports” won’t be broadcasting this weekend – or perhaps ever again – as it’s NBCSN’s turn. Expect not only superior coverage, but also more of it – including qualifications. And Daffy Leigh Diffey!
Those are just a few of the multitude of reasons to look forward to IndyCar oval racing at Texas. It’s undeniably some of the best in the world.