FORT WORTH, Texas (August 18, 2017)
Were you there?
It was April 2, 2000 and a colossal crowd of 223,000 fans were on hand at Texas Motor Speedway to see NASCAR history in the DirecTV 500. It would be the final season and stop at Texas Motor Speedway for three-time Cup series champion Darrell Waltrip as well as the highly anticipated first Cup start for fourth-generation NASCAR driver Adam Petty.
Little did the massive crowd realize that even more history would be in the making by the time the checkered flag fell on the DirecTV 500 that day.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who two years earlier captured his first XFINITY Series win at Texas Motor Speedway, thrilled the crowd as well as his father Dale Earnhardt Sr. by winning the DirecTV 500 for his first career Cup Series win.
With Earnhardt Jr.’s final season winding down and his final Texas Motor Speedway stop looming on Sunday, Nov. 5, for the AAA Texas 500, the speedway’s marketing campaign will celebrate that first win through the eyes of his loyal fans that were there that day 17 years ago in Fort Worth.
Texas Motor Speedway produced an “I Was There” national television promotional spot for the AAA Texas 500 that will debut on NBC Sports Network during tonight’s NASCAR XFINITY Series broadcast from Bristol Motor Speedway, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT. The spot features Earnhardt Jr. in the closing, but also includes fans Austen Cobler, of Lewisville, Texas, Deborah Smith, of San Antonio, Texas, and Colton Glaser, of Lorena, Texas.The speedway also produced six fan vignettes discussing their passion for Earnhardt Jr. as well as recounting that day in 2000 that will be featured on its social media and digital platforms leading up to the AAA Texas 500.The video segments also will be shown on “Big Hoss,” the world’s largest TV, during the race weekend.
The vignettes feature:
• Fans discussing “The Day” when Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas Motor Speedway
• Fans describing Earnhardt Jr. in one word
• Fans showing off items that they still have from that day of his victory
• Fans Garland Moore, of Oklahoma City, Okla., Smith and Glaser sharing their personal experiences from that day
The vignettes will debut on Texas Motor Speedway’s social and digital platforms beginning Wednesday, Aug. 23, and another will be featured every other Wednesday leading into the race weekend.
Fans traveled hours to Texas Motor Speedway from areas such as Houston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City to share their stories of being at Earnhardt Jr.’s first win. The furthest came from Canyon, Texas, located 326 miles away in the state’s panhandle.
Other fans that are featured in the vignettes are Texans Manuel Escobedo (Grand Prairie), Clay Thomas (The Woodlands), Mitze Knott (Collinsville), Mari Echavarria (Princeton), Larry Conley (Henderson), Jace Halter (Bridgeport), Mike Simmons (Little Elm), Jerry Faltinek (Canyon), Randy Kirby (Greenville) and Nick Morton (Hutto).
AAA Texas 500 tickets to see Earnhardt Jr. in his final start at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 5, are available by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500.