Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vrrrroooom, Y'all

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vrrrroooom, Y'all

Article excerpt

* Texas International Speedway, with bumper-to-bumper action and tight turns, will put drivers in the groove in its debut.

NASCAR racing makes its debut at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, and everyone from owner Bruton Smith to track general manager Eddie Gossage wonders what the reviews will be.

Steve Grissom, who drives the No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo, offered an early projection during practice for Sunday's Interstate Batteries 500. "The race track, the garage area and the grandstands are in great shape," Grissom said. "The parking lots and maybe getting to the race track and leaving the race track might be a little tough. They've got to start somewhere. You can't have it all the first time. I know that next year when we go back, it'll only get better." Smith, who also owns Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, had visited St. Louis in the fall of 1994 and considered building his $75 million state-of-the-art superspeedway there before he chose Dallas-Fort Worth. The price of the land and the price of the labor was cheaper in Texas, so Smith headed to the Southwest. He keeps saying he is still interested in the St. Louis area for another superspeedway - even though he's now got three of them and Chris Pook has a $23 million motor sports complex underway at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. Considering Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval and Gateway will have a 1.25-mile oval, it now seems unlikely that Smith would want to come into the St. Louis market - especially since Gateway already has a Busch Grand National Series event on its schedule. So the new Texas track is under the microscope this weekend - just as Gateway will be in May when the PPG CART World Series comes to town with the Motorola 300 on the day before the Indianapolis 500. Drivers have done some testing at Texas Motor Speedway and the race track itself has been a hot topic. "It's a unique race track," said Bobby Labonte, who drives the No. …

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