Texas Motor Speedway Firestone 550K Review

Texas Motor Speedway Suites, - Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

While I was at Thunderhill Raceway on June 5th, 2010, my older daughter, Katherine, attended the Texas Motor Speedway IndyCar Firestone 550K race, an IndyCar night race… I had asked her last minute to provide a casual review of her impressions of this IndyCar night race.  Here’s what Katherine recorded.  She did a really great reporting & picture-taking job!

Two weekends ago I attended the Indy Firestone 550k race at Texas Motor Speedway with my boyfriend, Matt, and his family.  My boyfriend’s family had been to this event several times before and knew it was a great one to experience, thus they invited us to join.  Although I had watched Indy car races in my younger days with my Dad, I had no idea what to expect as a spectator at the event.  Little did I know that I would have a wonderful time experiencing the race.

It was a sweltering hot, 100-something degree weather day in Fort Worth, TX, but once in the shade of the creatively built stands, the heat was much more tolerable.

Texas Motor Speedway, thoughtfully designed grandstands...

One thing that was very different and was not televised prior to the race was the way the drivers were announced.  It was unlike what my boyfriend’s family had experienced in prior years.  Prior to the start of the race, the drivers were strategically placed to walk through the stands down to the track, according to their starting position in the race.   We were sitting in section 107 and as you can see from the picture, Tony Kanaan, started in row 7 and walked right by our section.

Tony Kanaan parting the waves of fans as he makes his way to the IndyCar Firestone 550K starting grid at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Just like many other Indy fans, Matt’s younger sister, Lindsay, was excited to give him a high five as he walked past.  Each driver made his/her way down to the track and was placed in a beautiful, classic Corvette to be driven once around the track, waving in parade style until they made their way back to the pit lane to get situated in their Indy car.

Preparing the Firestone 550K starting grid at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Just like every other sport, there is no comparison to watch or hear the game on the television, radio, or internet than to be there live in the action.   It was incredible to hear the engines rev as the race started with the vigorous wave of the green flag.   Surprisingly it wasn’t dull to hear the cars as they passed us by all 228 laps.

Texas Motor Speedway Firestone 550K green flag race start...

IndyCars on the front straight of the Texas Motor Speedway, racing by at speed...

And luckily, Matt’s father had thought ahead for all of us and brought along earplugs.  Never having attended an Indy car race before that is something I would have not thought of doing.  I am not sure what other tracks are like for spectators, but it was very handy for the TX motor speedway to have two towers at each side of the track which displayed the laps passed and remaining and the position of the cars in the race.  This was very useful when the cars started to spread out all over the track and when cars would get behind a lap or so due to pit stops.

Here's the white flag, the last lap of the Firestone 550K at the Texas Motor Speedway...

Unfortunately for the drivers and their teams there were 3 accidents that took out 5 of the 26 cars.  The scariest one involved rookie Simona de Silvestro, who hit the wall after the second turn on lap 99.  The right side of her car quickly became engulfed in flames.  It was awful being a bystander that could do nothing but hope that the safety & medical team would quickly extinguish the fire and safely remove her from her car.  After what seemed like a lifetime, she was finally yanked out of her car and the medical team took her in their care.  Later she was interviewed and her right hand had been burned from not being able to get out of the car quickly enough.

Even at the beginning of the race it was apparent that driver No. 6, Ryan Briscoe, was undeniably the fastest driver of the race.  For the majority of the race, driver No. 7, Danica Patrick was close behind him in her bright green Go Daddy sponsored Indy car.  My boyfriend, his family and I were all rooting for her.  She came in second place after Briscoe and the entire crowd was thrilled.

The race was an amazing event that I will never forget!  I loved the noise the cars made every time they passed us by-it’s indescribable!  The experience from start to finish was very fun! I truly hope I will be able to attend another Indy car race in the future.

Briscoe Bounces Back - Wins IndyCar Firestone 550K Race in Texas! [Photo by Donald Miralle - Getty Images]

Racing Ready appreciates bi-location with the help of guest blogger, especially those who happen to be family members.  Thanks again, Katherine!


Simona de Silvestro’s Scary IndyCar Fire: What The Hell Happened?

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