Texas Motor Speedway’s “Big Hoss” nearing completion


The race names are bigger in Texas, as we learned with the release of the “Duck Commander 500” a couple weeks ago, and so are the television screens.

“Big Hoss,” the new and world’s largest HD video board created by Panasonic at Texas Motor Speedway, was announced last year with the first update provided in January.

And as we’re less than two months out from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in Texas, TMS thought it a good time to provide a further update on the construction of the video board.

Local Dallas/Fort Worth media members had a chance to tour the board on Friday in a special sneak preview, led by TMS President Eddie Gossage. Work has continued on the board despite the frigid winter temperatures.

Towering 12 stories high over the backstretch is the completed steel framework that will serve as the foundation for “Big Hoss TV.” Workers have installed 28 of the 40 LED modules – each measuring 54.5 feet by 9.5 feet – that will be placed in 10 rows of four that will serve as record HD display area that measures 218 feet (width) by 94.6 feet (height).

The finished product will be 79 percent larger than the one at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys (20,633.34 square feet at TMS, compared to 11,520 at AT&T and 16,000 at Charlotte Motor Speedway).

“This is the largest fan amenity we have ever undertaken in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and it truly should be a game changer in the industry,” Gossage said in a release. “Panasonic has done a tremendous job in keeping the project on schedule and have their crews working around the clock seven days a week on this enormous undertaking. Given the target completion date of March 1, we’re working on a “Big Hoss TV” sneak preview event with a dynamic entertainment element that will be open to the public in mid-March that will be announced soon.”

Additionally, a state-of-the-art control room for the board is being built adjacent to timing & scoring on the front-stretch. Here’s a pic of it, below.

source: Getty Images
Photo courtesy Texas Motor Speedway

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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