Texas Motor Speedway has been known to utilize on-track confrontations as part of promoting their races. For example, at their most recent Sprint Cup race this past spring – which came a few weeks after Tony Stewart and Joey Logano’s well-publicized shoving match at Auto Club Speedway – the track decided to stick a boxing ring in the infield that came complete with two pairs of gloves and a sign indicating the ring was “reserved for post-race use only.”
Now, as the IndyCars set up shop this weekend at the 1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth, the TMS gang is at it again with an infield banner (pictured, photo credit: @JennaFryer) that features Team Penske’s Will Power and Dragon Racing’s Sebastian Saavedra both extending their middle fingers. It also comes with a message: “Warning: Wild Asphalt Circus Can Cause Angry Birds.”
If you’ve been watching the series for a while, then you can probably figure out where TMS got the images of Power and Saavedra from. In perhaps the most lasting moment from the IZOD IndyCar Series’ short-lived return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway two years ago, Power delivered his double-barreled salute to Race Control after they opted to restart the race in wet conditions. That led to a multi-car accident, which collected the Australian driver and caused him to shoot the birds on national television.
Saavedra made the same gesture (also caught on TV) toward Marco Andretti last weekend during the first Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit race last Saturday after the third-generation driver nudged him into the tire barriers, ending his day. The Dragon pilot has since been hit with a $30,000 fine and is now on probation for the rest of the season.
At least one IndyCar driver has commented on the banner: Ryan Hunter-Reay called it “hilarious” while linking to it on his Instagram account.