Texas Motor Speedway’s “Big Hoss” nearing completion

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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

Danica says goodbye: ‘Definitely not a great ending’ but ‘I’m for sure grateful’

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INDIANAPOLIS – Danica Patrick’s final racing news conference didn’t but at least she didn’t lose her sense of humor about it.

“Is that like the Oscars when they close the show out?” Patrick joked when her opening address was drowned out by the midrace broadcast of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 in the media center. “Take my mic away. I’ll leave. I promise. I don’t really want to be here because I’m pretty sad, but all right. I guess I’ll stop there.”

That was about as lighthearted as it got, though, for the most accomplished female driver in racing history after the final start of her career. That naturally made for some reflection, too.

“I will say that I’m for sure very grateful for everybody,” she said. “It still was a lot of great moments this month. A lot of great moments this year.”

Patrick was the first woman to lead both the Indianapolis 500 (in her 2005 debut) and the Daytona 500 (in 2013 when she also was the first female to qualify on pole position in NACAR history).

But she couldn’t bookend that with similarly memorable finishes. After crashing out of her final two Cup races in the November 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the 2018 Daytona 500, Indy concluded the same way.

“Definitely not a great ending,” she said. “But I kind of said before I came here that it could be a complete disaster, as in not in the ballpark at all. And look silly, then people may remember that. And if I win, people will remember that.

“Probably anything in between might just be a little part of the big story. So I kind of feel like that’s how it is. I’m appreciative for all the fans, for GoDaddy, for Ed Carpenter Racing, for IndyCar. Today was a tough day. A little bit of it was OK. A lot of it was just a typical drive.”

Beforehand, Patrick seemed relaxed while smiling and laughing outside her car with a tight circle of close friends and family that included her parents and boyfriend Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback.

“For sure, I was definitely nervous,” she said about her first Indy 500 start in seven years. “I found myself most of the time on the grid being confused what part of prerace we were in. I was like, ‘I remember this,’ and ‘Where are the Taps?’ and ‘When is the anthem?’ but I had all my people around me, so I was in good spirits.”

And with that, she bid adieu.

“Thank you guys,” she said. “Thank you for everything. I’ll miss you. Most of the time. Maybe you’ll miss me just a little. Thanks, guys.”