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Texas: A State of Petrol Heads

For those that don’t live in the United States, there’s a saying, “Everything is bigger in America,” but if you do reside in the USA, “everything is bigger in Texas.” Whether it’s the state’s land mass, food or cowboy hats, the saying is true.

Like everything else, sports is big in Texas, too, so no matter what you’re into, Texas has it. Sports course through the veins of Texans with many household names coming from the state, including the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers. Texas even has its version of poker, Texas Hold ‘em, invested in Robstown in the 1900s where cards are dealt faceup. Motorsport is also big in Texas, being home to several major domestic and international motorsport competitions on both four wheels and two. Here’s a selection of the big events in Texas.

NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, or NASCAR for short, is a U.S. motorsport series for stock car racing. With similar sports in several other countries such as touring cars in the U.K., stock car racing is a sport involving cars that resemble (to varying degrees) road cars that are available for purchase by the consumer. The Texas race is held at the Texas Motor Speedway.

November 2018 will see a full weekend of NASCAR racing, totalling a whopping 1,150 miles in three different classes of car. Camping is a must to get the full Texan NASCAR experience where you’ll find plenty of big RVs and even bigger BBQ meats.

IndyCar

Also, at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, the IndyCar race in Texas is a permanent fixture on the calendar since 1997. The 248-lap, 600-kilometer race is normally held on a Saturday night in June (unless rain causes a delay). The IndyCar race was so popular in Texas, a second 500-kilometer race was added for six years since 1998.

Formula One

Formula One has had an on-and-off relationship with the U.S., with 47 events since the first in 1908. From 2012, Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA) was the home of the U.S. Grand Prix, but it was previously held in Las Vegas, Long Beach, Detroit, Dallas and Indianapolis. The Austin circuit is the only race to feature Pirelli’s cowboy hats, replacing the traditional baseball cap worn by drivers after the race.

The COTA doesn’t disappoint either. The race is quite popular among drivers and fans, and the action isn’t limited to the circuit. Bruno Mars and Britney Spears will both be giving performances on the Super Stage for the 2018 event.

MotoGP

If bikes are more your thing, Texas has got you covered. The COTA in Austin is also home to MotoGP’s Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. Like Formula One, MotoGP has also had several homes in the United States, with races held in Indianapolis and Laguna Seca. The race was first held in Texas in 2013 and has been won by Spanish rider Marc Marquez each year since. The COTA has a 120,000 capacity, more than capable of handling the average MotoGP crowd size of around 115,000 people.

No matter what motorsports event you find yourself attending in Texas, you can be sure it’ll be big and that it’ll be a thriller. Whether it’s the COTA or Texas Motor Speedway, the facilities and off-track entertainment are sure to keep you busy for hours.

Photo by Bo Nash, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

© Maria Taylor 2018