30,000 Jimmie Johnson bobbleheads will be up for grabs at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 By PRESCOTTE STOKES III
Texas Motor Speedway laid out its grand plans for the 2018 racing season, which comes to Fort Worth the weekend of April 5-8. That’s when the first 30,000 fans through the door can get Johnson’s bobblehead doll ahead of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
Later this season, five-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner James Hinchcliffe and 27-time race winner in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Kurt Busch will also get the bobblehead treatment for their races in June and November.
The limited-edition dolls are one of the improvements at TMS this year that are meant to enhance the fan experience, said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
“One of the improvements will be the fan zone. We’re putting over 1,000 more square feet of asphalt where fans can enjoy the food, the souvenirs and all the fan engagement areas in the front stretch,” he said. “We’re making some enhancements to the wireless system so it’s easier to get a call out, a text or update your Instagram.”
As for additions to food and drink, a new Torchy’s Tacos restaurant will be in the infield area.
And TMS showed video footage of a new place called Restart Bar that will be positioned over the restart zone on the front stretch on the turn 4 side of the speedway. It’s designed to have an outdoor-sports-bar feel with food and beverages being served. It also will have an inside lounge area with flat-screen monitors if you need to get out of the heat.
Atlanta Motor Speedway was the first to get the Restart Bar.
“It provides social interaction, it provides some great fun and just a change-up from the standard how-many-seats-can-we-fit-in-a-row kind of design,” said Smith.