Texas Motor Speedway 2 April 2000



The Direct TV NASCAR 500 Auto Race was held at the Texas Motor Speedway on 2 April 2000 at 1 PM. Tom and Gretchen Webb of Red River, New Mexico drove to Lake Bridgeport and attended the race with me. They arrived on Saturday in time for a good margarita and visitation prior to dinner.  We had a delightful buffet dinner in The Club at the Runaway Bay Country Club.


We got up early Sunday morning, had breakfast and headed for the speedway at 9 AM. We drove from Lake Bridgeport to Decatur and turned south on Hwy 287 proceeding to Hwy 407 which heads to Justin. We did not go through Justin but took country roads that brought us out on Hwy 156 about a mile from the entrance to the speedway.  We entered the speedway parking lot and parked on Row 11 right in front of the main entrance. We arrived at the parking space on Row 11 at 9:40 AM. From the car we walked up the driveway to the main entrance to the grandstands.


Note:  To view a photograph full size click on the Thumbnail photograph. When the photograph is full size and you have finished viewing click on "BACK" in the upper left corner of the screen and you will return to this page.


01-Arrival at Track.JPG
01-Arrival at Track

02-Crowd Walking to Track.JPG
02-Crowd Walking to Track

03-West Parking Lot.JPG
03-West Parking Lot

04-Track Entrance.JPG
04-Track Entrance

05-Tom & Gretchen Webb.JPG
05-Tom & Gretchen Webb

06-Tom & Gretchen Webb.JPG
06-Tom & Gretchen Webb


Before we entered the main gate we walked through a long corridor of 18-wheelers type trailers that were selling racing souvenirs. The racing fans were elbow to elbow. People were lined up 10 deep to buy the junk. I mean souvenirs. Several tents were in place to demonstrate racing stuff including full size racing cars. Believe it or not we did not buy a thing. We now entered the main gate and started the search for our seats. We had great seats in Section 425, Row 20, seats 15,16, and 17. From our seats we could see the entire track. The backstretch was visible but to far away for a real good view. However, there was a huge TV screen almost in front of us so we could see the events on the backstretch. The speedway added several temporary seating areas due to the large ticket demand. As it turned out there was 223,000 thousand people at the race in spite of the weather. The weather was not the most desirable for a racing weekend. It rained most of the day on Saturday delaying the Saturday Grand National 300 Race about 4 hours. It continued raining during the night. The rain stopped early Sunday morning and did not rain during the race, however it was cloudy and cool all day. We arrived at our seats at 10:45 AM. There were lots of activities during the two and a half hours before the 1 PM start of the race.


07-Souvenir  Stands.JPG
07-Souvenir Stands

08-Tom & Gretchen Webb.JPG
08-Tom & Gretchen Webb

10-Jeff Gordan  Race Car.JPG
10-Jeff Gordon Race Car

11-Tom & Gretchen Webb.JPG
11-Tom & Gretchen Webb

12-Heading to Seats.JPG
12-Heading to Seats

13-Heading to Seats.JPG
13-Heading to Seats

14-Tom & Gretchen Webb.JPG
14-Tom & Gretchen Webb


The view of the track from our seats was very good. We could see the infield, backstretch, grandstands, and all of the suites. A Care Flight helicopter landed right in front of us. A helicopter carrying a new Monte Carlo automobile flew over and deposited the car on the grass next to pit row. Five people had been selected to draw keys to the car.  The person that had the keys to start the car won the car. The second person to draw the keys won the car. There was a huge fireworks display for the winner.  The huge TV screen in front of us allowed us to view the presentation ceremony prior to the race. Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte were presented with awards along with many other folks. It is getting close to time to start the race.


15-View of Track.JPG
15-View of Track

16-View of track.JPG
16-View of track

17-View of Infield.JPG
17-View of Infield

18-CareFlight Landing.JPG
18-CareFlight Landing

20-Car Arrival.JPG
20-Car Arrival

22-Car Arrival.JPG
22-Car Arrival

23-Event Crowd.JPG
23-Event Crowd

24-Blimp & Helicopter.JPG
24-Blimp & Helicopter


26-Track View.JPG
26-Track View

27-Pace Car.JPG
27-Pace Car

28-Track Drying Vehicle.JPG
28-Track Drying Vehicle

29-Bring Out the Cars.JPG
29-Bring Out the Cars

30- In Field View.JPG
30- In Field View

31-View of Suites.JPG
31-View of Suites

32-Bring out Race Cars.JPG
32-Bring out Race Cars


34-TV for Viewing Race.JPG
34-TV for Viewing Race

36-Jeff Gordon on Screen.JPG
36-Jeff Gordon on Screen

37-Terry Labonte on Screen.JPG
37-Terry Labonte on Screen



 The cars were uncovered and preparations were initiated to start the race. Each driver was introduced and put into a convertible that circled the track so that all the fans could view the drivers. Texan Terry Labonte had won the pole position so he was the last to circle the track. The drivers now entered their racecars and entered the track behind the pace car.  The cars circled the track 3 laps when Roger Staubach waved the green flag to start the race. The racetrack is 1.5 miles long so it required 334 laps to make 500 miles. There were 12 caution periods caused by crashes. All of the crashes but one were single car accidents. One wreck involved three cars but with little damage. The race had 27 lead changes.  The divers that led most of the time were Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhart, Jr. The dominant driver however, was Dale Earnhart, Jr. who went on to win the race by several seconds.  It was his first Winston Cup victory. Jeff Burton finished second with Bobby Labonte taking third place.


39-Vehicles to Carry Drivers.JPG
39-Vehicles to Carry Drivers

40-Jeff Gordon.JPG
40-Jeff Gordon

41-Dale Earnhart.JPG
41-Dale Earnhart

43-Terry Labonte.JPG
43-Terry Labonte

44-Pit Row.JPG
44-Pit Row

45-Start of Race.JPG
45-Start of Race

46-Start of Race.JPG
46-Start of Race

47-Start of Race.JPG
47-Start of Race

47-Terry Labonte in Lead.JPG
47-Terry Labonte in Lead

48-Start of Race.JPG
48-Start of Race

49-1st Race Lap.JPG
49-1st Race Lap

50-Race Lap.JPG
50-Race Lap

51-Race lap.JPG
51-Race lap


53-Cars Entering Pt Row.JPG
53-Cars Entering Pt Row

54-Cars on Pit Row.JPG
54-Cars on Pit Row

55-Cars leaving Pit Row.JPG
55-Cars leaving Pit Row


57-Going to Garage.JPG
57-Going to Garage

58-Entering Garage Area.JPG
58-Entering Garage Area



 We left the grandstands immediately upon the end of the race. We got to the car at 5:25 PM. We were in a traffic tie up for 2 hours without moving an inch. The photographs show the traffic conditions. After we started moving the traffic continued

Very well and we arrived back in Lake Bridgeport 8:30 PM.



59-Leaving Grandstands.JPG
59-Leaving Grandstands

61-My Jeep in Traffic Jam.JPG
61-My Jeep in Traffic Jam

62-Fans Going to Their Cars.JPG
62-Fans Going to Their Cars

63-Traffic Jam.JPG
63-Traffic Jam

64-Fans Passing Traffic Jam.JPG
64-Fans Passing Traffic Jam

65-Sunset on Race Day.JPG
65-Sunset on Race Day


We had a very exciting day. We hope you enjoy our dialog and photos of the Direct TV 500 NASCAR race.