One thing’s for sure: Texas Motor Speedway knows how to appeal to their fans. The track’s newest marketing endeavor, the “Wild Asphalt Circus”, was, indisputably, a very successful one. Along with the crazy off-track theme, the on-track racing – criticized in the spring race for lack of cautions – upped the ante as well.
Their recent “No Limits” theme, an edgier concept with the addition of the No Limits Garage Party for season ticket holders, was paired with the Wild Asphalt Circus for the 2012 AAA Texas 500 weekend. The carnival atmosphere, which could have easily been restricted to season ticket holders at the Garage Party (which would make sense, due to the fact that season ticket holders were of more value monetarily), was present throughout the track. Even people who didn’t purchase tickets to the race, theoretically, had access to some of the carnival attractions.
From the carnival, to the skydivers, to the flyovers, to the racing, Texas Motor Speedway’s Wild Asphalt Circus hit a home run. Interactive activities such as the “Tony Stewart Helmet Throw” and voting booths for the Cup champion, and decorations such as the “Welcome to the Center Ring” signs plastered at every gateway into the track and carnival rides in infield as well as outside the track’s grandstands, gave everyone at the track a sense of being involved in the Circus.
Every part of the track, from the garage to the midway, was truly a Wild Asphalt Circus. Though the expectation for the race was a mundane, less-than-dramatic one like the April race, the Center Ring produced the exact opposite. When the laps wound down, cautions flew in the right places and enabled the drivers, mainly the two title contenders, to race all-out to the finish without worrying about fuel mileage. Despite anyone’s wildest dreams, there was even a green-white-checkered finish, and a dash to the checkers that didn’t fail to disappoint.
The Wild Asphalt Circus sure held true to its name at Texas Motor Speedway. Maybe it even influenced the “wild” race for that famed cowboy hat in victory lane – but no one can deny that the AAA Texas 500 weekend was as wild as it was cracked up to be.
By Alanis King