It was a week filled with tributes for driver Jeff Gordon in Fort Worth where Texas Motor Speedway hosted the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint series race on November 6, 2015. Sunday was the final Texas race for the veteran driver and current championship points leader, there was no shortage of dedications to the driver of the #24 car, including the Final Rock and Road-eo ice cream sundae – a variation of Gordon’s favorite Rocky Road flavor . Eddie Gossage, always one to do things in a Texas-sized way, presented Gordon with two Shetland ponies in the media center on Friday for his two children, along with custom made boots, a commemorative Jeff Gordon street sign, as well as a mural that was painted live on site by Artist David Arrigo. Gordon has been a great promoter of the TMS track since its inaugural race and was on site during the original ground-breaking ceremony in 1995. Gordon celebrated his first win here in the Spring of 2009.
“With all due respect to drivers like Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Jeff is perhaps the most important driver in NASCAR history,” Gossage said. “He was the most transformative driver our sport has seen”.
Actor, director and producer John Krasinski, best known for his role as Jim Halpert on TV series The Office, served as the Grand Marshal for the race, waving the checkered flag. He was joined on the Grand Marshal stage by three members of the CIA Annex Security Team involved in the Benghazi, Lybia attacks in 2012. Krasinski, stars as a former Navy SEAL in the upcoming box office film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi based on the book by Mitchel Zuckoff and members of the Annex Security Team, opening in theaters in January 2016.
Grammy award winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sammy Hagar and “The Circle” played before a large stadium crowd on Sunday prior to the starting command. Performing with Michael Anthony on bass, Jason Bonham on drums and Vic Johnson on guitar, Sammy is always a crowd- pleaser who loves to deliver a high energy show. Playing hit songs from throughout his prolific music career, he did not disappoint.
Brad Keselowski, driving the number 2, car dominated for most of the race. Jimmie Johnson and the number 48 car made a pass after the restart with only four laps left to go – clinching the win for the fourth year in a row and a record sixth time in Texas.
“I just kept pressure on him,” Johnson said regarding Keselowski. “I could see that he was really tight and that was the first I had seen him that vulnerable all day. I just kept the pressure on him, kept searching for line. He saw me coming on the top and protected it. I just kept trying to put pressure on him hoping for a mistake. He got real loose off of turn 2 and I had a big run down the backstretch and drove it in really far into turn 3 hoping to hear clear. Once I did I knew I was home free.”
Next week’s race in Phoenix will further narrow down the chase for the championship. For more information on upcoming events at TMS, visit the website here.
Check out more photos in slide show below….
Dan Elam joined the team in 2015. He first became interested in photography specializing in sports and wildlife and then his interest evolved into a wider range from there. He likes to learn about the subject and know as much as possible in order to get the full picture. Driven by creating images that capture the eye and the imagination, he believes that you can never know enough about the art of photography and honing the craft. He is a techie and loves the outdoors, travel, music and the arts. A Texas native based in Fort Worth, he has also lived in Colorado but couldn't wait to get back to the Lone Star state.