Two days of practices and a 300-mile XFINITY Series race obviously weren’t enough to lay down a sufficient amount of rubber on the newly repaved Texas Motor Speedway.
So track president Eddie Gossage has called on a monster AND a dragon to finish the job before Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will be televised on FOX, with pre-race coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Assisting in laying down the extra rubber on the new TMS asphalt are the Texas Motor Speedway Tire Dragon and the Kentucky Speedway Tire Dragon. Both sophisticated machines are designed to simulate multiple race cars laying down rubber on a track.
Gossage said both machines would run simultaneously from 11 p.m. ET Saturday night to 2 a.m. ET Sunday morning, and then again from 6 a.m. Sunday until pre-race festivities commence at the track.
Gossage also said that he always planned to have the monster and the dragon lay down more rubber after Saturday’s two Cup practices and the XFINITY race.
Asked if the Tire Dragon, on loan from Kentucky Speedway, spit fire, the colorful Gossage replied: “They don’t have that sense of showmanship at Kentucky yet.
The Tire Monster operates at a top speed of 70 miles per hour, while the Dragon is slower but more overall slightly more efficient, Gossage admitted. The Dragon also is loud.
“It makes an awful noise,” Gossage said. “So I was telling (Saturday XFINITY race winner) Erik Jones that we’re going to have the tire monster and the tire dragon out there until 1 a.m. and he said, ‘That Tire Dragon makes a lot of noise. I’ve got to go to bed.’ And I said, ‘Well, there’s a hotel down the street.’ We’re working here, Erik.”