Texas Motor Speedway is a unique venue for this event. The Speedway normally hosts NASCAR automotive races and was built "Texas sized" to reflect the public interest and following of those events. The speedway is capable of seating and supporting more than 128,000 visitors. And a hotel provides spectacular views of race events. The extensive parking area is filled with buses, motor homes and campers on multi-day events.
The entire course is visible from the speedway stands. Take offs and landings were also from within the stadium, puting all of the action in direct view of the spectators.
Smoke on! Flying directly towards the main viewing area,entry is made between the checkered pylons. The "pits" directly in front of the spectators, where race cars are normally housed serve as open hangers for the event.
Prior to competition, viewers got a good look at each plane, as it was pushed by hand across the front of the stands to a marshaling area.
Where it could be checked and started.
Then depart and stage for its scheduled run.
Between heats, returning aircraft land in front of the spectators.
Clipping a pylon adds a time penalty. The top of the checkered entry pylon can just be seen behind this aircraft's tail as the pylon begins to collapse. Crews on the ground could repair and re-inflate a pylon in a matter of minutes.
Part of the purpose of the training rounds was for pilots to learn the course, many flew the course faster or with smoother manuevering on their second pass.
Over the top,
and down again.
Fly through another set of pylons,
out between a pair at the North end, do an immediate 10G turn of about 240 degrees,
and come back in again to complete Lap 1, repeat for Lap 2.
At the end of Lap 2 pull-up and reverse to exit, while they put your picture on the big screen and the crowd cheers. Be sure to smile for the camera. Got it?
A great event, we hope they come back again and we hope you enjoyed the pictures.