What to Watch For: IndyCar’s Firestone 600 at Texas


FORT WORTH – The Verizon IndyCar Series is in the Lone Star State for its ninth race of the season, the Firestone 600 (kilometers) at Texas Motor Speedway.

The 248-lap race is set to go green at 8:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Here are the interesting storylines entering the race at “No Limits, Texas.”


The Forth Worth area received a healthy dose of showers Saturday afternoon, which washed away two days worth of rubber put down on the track by both IndyCar and the Camping World Truck Series.

This should have an interesting impact on tire wear early in the race, which was one of the theme’s of last year’s race at the 1.5-mile race.

Scott Dixon, who won last year’s race in a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing, said “there’s so many things” to take into account with tire degradation.

“It could be balance. It could be you missed the stop on the COP by a little bit so it’s pushing a little bit, or understeer,” Dixon said Friday. “Breathing the throttle a little bit definitely helps throughout the race if you’re getting into a situation where you can utilize that. Also the lane usage. The low lane is definitely quicker, but it also chews up the tires pretty quick.

“I think throughout the race you see people running second, third lane. That’s for a reason, to try to help the longevity of the speed that you run.”

Josef Newgarden, who finished third in the last oval race at Indianapolis, will start fifth Saturday night in his second best start at Texas after beginning second in 2014. His best finish was eighth in 2013.

“Texas is always tough,” Negarden said. “It’s tough with the transitions in the banking. It’s two to three-wide on the restarts, a lot of the racing is two to three-wide, so you got to have a car that can go multiple lanes, you gotta have a car that takes care of the tires.”

One driver who could take advantage of the tire wear here is Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi. A Formula One driver in 2015, Rossi’s co-owner Bryan Herta believes Rossi’s experience with the tire wear in that series could benefit him Saturday night.

“The pace at the start of a tire run towards the end of a tire run is a huge difference,” Herta said. “That means you really got to take care of the car. I think that’s what he’s more used to in Formula One, the tires they run there, they degrade a lot over the course of a run. I think this seems familiar to him in that way. Even though it’s on an oval, if that make sense. I think in some ways the experience he’s had is going to pay off more here than some of the early places that we’ve been.”

Rossi will start a career best ninth.


When IndyCar rolled in TMS at the beginning of May for an open test, the main topic of contention was dome skids.

That’s the name of the 7 millimeters of metal attached to the bottom of the chassis in IndyCar in order to keep them from going airborne. Combined with titanium blocks on the underside, the ride around TMS is a bit rougher for drivers, especially In Turn 2.

“Kind of just a bit before turn two, the bumps are pretty bad there,” Dixon said. “With the dome skid and the titanium plates, it hits the bottom, hits a lot harder and moves your car around. That’s the same in the exit of (Turn) 4. Those are areas that everybody is being a little cautious about. When it comes down to the race, man, you’ll have everybody using every lane possible, I think.”

Graham Rahal wasn’t a fan of the dome skids in May and he’s not enthusiastic about them this weekend.

“In my estimation, I think the domed skids are going to hurt the racing a little bit, but we’ll find out and see tomorrow,” said Rahal, who had the fastest speed in the final 30-minute practice session Friday night.

The combination of dome skids and titanium have also created more frequent showers of sparks as they bounce off the track surface.


James Hinchcliffe is continuing his tour of tracks he missed racing at in 2015 after his injury during Indianapolis 500 practice.

Hinchcliffe’s last run at TMS in 2014 came while he was still at Andretti Autosport. His best finish at Texas was fourth in 2012.

Luckily for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver, Texas “didn’t change too much” in the last two years.

“Not a ton, it’s a little bumpier up top, which is kind of normal every year, it seems to get a little bit worse up there,” said Hinchcliffe. “You’re going going to want to run up there. It’s going to come into play for sure at some point over the race. It’s still the same old Texas, it’s still a tricky place and tire concentration is still the No. 1 goal.”

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”