TMS Brings Fuel, Food, and Fun to DFW : 2019 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Review


The roar of engines, cheering crowds, and smell of barbeque pits engulfed the northwest side of the metroplex as NASCAR sped into action last week. Texas Motor Speedway hosted three action filled days with the O’Reilly Auto Parts race weekend. Between qualifying, truck competitions, and sprint car races, the weekend was full of opportunities to get your fill of octane.

It has been over two decades since we were first introduced to Texas Motor Speedway, and DFW has never been the same since. This year, we were invited to see why there is such hype surrounding race weekend. For a venue that has established its own city known as “No Limits, Texas”, it found a way to live up to the name.

The first campers arrived weeks in advance of race weekend, and those that were unable to seemed to get there as early as they could. The entire venue came alive with swarms of fans just after sunrise. It doesn’t take much to see that there is much more to the weekend than the actual races.

Large crowds were already standing at the gates on Sunday before they even opened. While waiting around might sound like a terrible experience to outsiders, it is actually one of the highlights of time spent at the track. Sponsors, vendors, and stages lined the long stretch in front of the stadium. While TMS does have some great food items and restaurants available, it is hard to compete with those outside the walls on race weekend. Trucks passed out Monster Energy drinks, Red Robin handed out free seasoned fries, In-N-Out gave out cups of ice cream, and that is to only name a few! It was a foodie’s dream world.

Other vendors had enough games, activities, and free merchandise to keep people entertained for hours upon end. Drivers made appearances at their sponsor’s areas throughout the morning to answer questions and sign autographs. There were plenty of photo ops and chances to get up close to the action since many of the drivers had cars from past races on display.

While all of this excitement is going on outside of the gates, the infield takes a life of its own. Tailgaters eagerly cooked on large grills and visited with anyone nearby. Several race sponsors had live music being played as fans cruised around in their golf carts. There was even a Ferris wheel that operated throughout the entire day! The garage area offered those with passes the opportunity to see their favorite drivers up close and personal. There was a red carpet walk in which each driver and celebrity walked, taking pictures and signing autographs along the way.

Before Sunday’s competitions even started, TMS personnel and paramedics had to tend to a flipped Stadium SUPER Truck vehicle that did not quite make the jump in practice. It was a fitting start to a day filled with racing excitement. The Stadium SUPER Trucks series race had trucks jumping over shipping crates and racing on winding tracks. The pinnacle of the SST race was seen as three trucks failed to make the large jump and a fourth went sailing above to continue the action.

After introductions, an invocation, the anthem, and a military flyover, the Monster Energy Cup O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 kicked into gear. The #20 car, driven by Erik Jones, brought out the caution early in the race when he spun out and connected with the wall. Jimmy Johnson seemed to have the fastest car on the track, but was bested by Joey Logano in stage 1. The second stage was much of the same story. This time, it was Kyle Larson who connected with the wall and limped into pit road. Crew members had to rush to put out the fire erupting from the engine. Denny Hamlin took stage 2 and eventually the checkered flag. The deciding point of the race came near the conclusion as several cars traded positions due to stops for fuel and tires. Hamlin, who stopped for fuel earlier, took advantage of the situation and found himself in Victory Lane.

Fans that stayed after the victory celebrations were treated to another Stadium SUPER Truck race later in the evening. The O’Reilly Auto Parts weekend entered DFW with a roar and went out in the same manner. TMS managed to pull off another Texas-sized event that truly had “no limits” to the entertainment presented throughout the weekend.