Texas World Speedway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Texas Motor Speedway.
Texas World Speedway
TWS
Texas World Speedway-Superspeedway.svg
Location College Station, Texas, USA
Coordinates 30°32′13″N 96°13′16″W / 30.537°N 96.221°W / 30.537; -96.221Coordinates: 30°32′13″N 96°13′16″W / 30.537°N 96.221°W / 30.537; -96.221
Opened 1969
Oval
Surface Asphalt
Length 2 mi (3.2 km)
Turns 4
Road Course
Length 2.9 mi (4.67 km)
Turns 15

Texas World Speedway was built in 1969 and is one of only seven superspeedways of two miles (3 km) or greater in the United States used for racing, the others being Indianapolis, Daytona, Pocono, Talladega, Auto Club, and Michigan (there are several tracks of similar size used for vehicle testing). TWS is located on approximately 600 acres (2.4 km²) on State Highway 6 in College Station, Texas. There is a 2-mile (3 km) oval, and several road course configurations. The full oval configuration is closely related to that of Michigan and is often considered the latter's sister track, featuring steeper banking, at 22 degrees in the turns, 12 degrees at the start/finish line, and only 2 degrees along the backstretch,[1] compared to Michigan's respective 18, 12, and 5 degrees. The last major race occurred at the track in 1981. The track is still used by amateur racing clubs such as the SCCA, NASA, Porsche Club of America, Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing, CMRA, driving schools and car clubs, as well as hosting music concerts and the like.

During the 1980s the track fell into a state of disrepair, and both NASCAR and the IndyCar Series chose to drop it from the schedule. It continued to operate in a limited role for amateur racing. In 1991 Ishin Speed Sport, Inc. purchased the facility and repaved and refurbished it. It hosted races for the ARCA series but after 1993 the company withdrew and the facility has since served as a circuit for amateur and club racing, along with private testing, and also hosts NASCAR teams' testing for Michigan International Speedway and California Speedway because of NASCAR conducting new 2006 restrictions prohibiting both tracks from being used for tests. With the 2009 NASCAR testing ban, the track expects more testing in the three national series because the track is not on any of the three circuits, and therefore is legal.

During a January 2009 test, Greg Biffle managed to reach a top speed of 218 mph (351 km/h) in a test for Roush Fenway Racing as part of evading NASCAR's testing ban. This became the fastest speed ever achieved on this track by a stock car (amateur or professional). The average speed for the full lap was 195 mph (314 km/h).[2]

On February 3, 1993, Jeff Andretti set the (then) unofficial closed-course speed record for IndyCars of 234.5 MPH, the fastest speed ever recorded at Texas World Speedway, while testing for the 1993 Indianapolis 500. Marking his first time back in an IndyCar since he lost a wheel and crashed head-on into the wall, smashing both his legs, in a horrific crash during the 1992 Indianapolis 500, Andretti's fast run came at the conclusion of two days of testing where he consistently posted laps in the 230 MPH range. Andretti's Buick-powered Lola was prepared by Pagan Racing of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Texas World Speedway was also the site of Willie Nelson's 1974 4th of July Picnic with Willie Nelson and his guests Jimmy Buffett, Townes Van Zandt, and Kinky Friedman performing as well. It was also known for a fire that destroyed several cars including one owned by Robert Earl Keen The cover of Robert's album, Picnic, shows a picture of his car on fire at the picnic.

Race history[edit]

USAC winners[edit]

Season Race Name Winning Driver Chassis Engine Tires Team
1973 Texas 200 Al Unser Parnelli Offenhauser Firestone Vels Parnelli Jones
1976 Texas 150 A.J. Foyt Coyote Foyt Goodyear Gilmore Racing
Benihana World Series of Auto Racing Johnny Rutherford McLaren Offenhauser Team McLaren
1977 Texas Grand Prix Tom Sneva Cosworth Team Penske
American Parts 200 Johnny Rutherford Team McLaren
1978 Coors 200 Danny Ongais Parnelli Interscope Racing
Texas Grand Prix A.J. Foyt Coyote Foyt Gilmore Racing
1979 Coors 200
Lubriloln Grand Prix Parnelli Cosworth
1980 Texas 200 Race cancelled

NASCAR race winners[edit]

Season Winning Driver Manufacturer
1969 Texas 500 Bobby Isaac Dodge
1971 Texas 500 Richard Petty Plymouth
1972 Texas 500 Richard Petty Dodge
1972 Lone Star 500 Buddy Baker Dodge
1973 Alamo 500 Richard Petty Dodge
1979 Texas 400 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet
1980 Budweiser 400 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet
1981 Budweiser 400 Benny Parsons Ford
  • Bobby Isaac's 1969 win was his first in a long-distance superspeedway race.
  • Richard Petty's 1972 win was his first in a Dodge.
  • The 1979 400 was NASCAR's first race at Texas after it shut down for the 1974-5 seasons; USAC stock cars and Indycars returned to Texas in 1976.

USAC Stock Cars[edit]

SCCA Can-Am winners[edit]

Season Winning Driver Chassis Engine
1969 New Zealand Bruce McLaren McLaren M8B Chevrolet

IMSA winners[edit]

Season Winning Driver Car
1972 Mexico Juan Izquierdo
Mexico Daniel Muñiz
Ford Mustang
1995 South Africa Wayne Taylor Ferrari 333SP
1996 South Africa Wayne Taylor
United States Jim Pace
Riley & Scott Mk III-
Oldsmobile

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1978 USAC Texas Grand Prix telecast". 
  2. ^ "Notebook: Biffle hits 218 mph in test at Texas World". Nascar.com. January 22, 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 

External links[edit]