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Motor sports: ‘Big Hoss’ coming to TMS

Profile image for By Matt Crider / Staff Writer
By Matt Crider / Staff Writer

FORT WORTH — The world’s largest high-definition video board is coming to Denton County.

Texas Motor Speedway announced Monday night that the track will install a 218-foot-by-94-foot HD board in time for the 2014 season. Named “Big Hoss,” the TMS display will measure 20,633 square feet and will be placed in the center of the backstretch, with its back to Interstate 35W.

The 12-story Panasonic screen will include nearly 4.8 million pixels and 14 million LEDs. Track officials say the surface area could hold the front wall of the Alamo nine times or 373 stock cars.

Currently, the world’s largest HD video board is at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. That 16,000-square-foot display was unveiled in 2011 along the backstretch near the entrance to turn 3.

“That’s the standard. That’s where the bar is set,” TMS president Eddie Gossage said. “This one’s a little bigger — as it should be.”

Charlotte and TMS are owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. Gossage said plans for the Fort Worth board have been in the works for five years.

“I got the green light in December to do this,” he said. “That’s always been the plan — to be bigger.”

The new board will surpass all other Texas-sized screens.

Arlington’s city-owned AT&T Stadium features video boards that measure 160 feet by 72 feet, or 11,520 square feet. Last month, Reliant Stadium in Houston unveiled boards in excess of 14,400 square feet.

TMS also announced its 2014 schedule Monday, with one major change from recent years.

The track’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spring race will be held Sunday, April 6. The race has been held on Saturday night since 2011, but the track is moving the 2014 event to Sunday to avoid a conflict with the NCAA men’s basketball semifinals scheduled for April 5 in Arlington.

April 6 will be an off day for the Final Four, so basketball fans will have an opportunity to attend the race Sunday before returning to Tarrant County for the national championship game Monday night.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race will be held Friday, April 4, with Sprint Cup practice and qualifying set for April 5.

Gossage said the Cup race will return to Saturday night in 2015.

The other significant change announced is that the IndyCar Series race June 7 has been extended from 550 kilometers to 600 kilometers. Gossage said fans wanted a longer race. The Camping World Truck Series race June 6 remains as the companion event.

Unchanged is the NASCAR tripleheader weekend in the fall. The AAA Texas 500 on Nov. 2 retains its spot as the eighth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs.

Gossage also thanked Denton County Commissioner Andy Eads and Texas Department of Transportation officials in attendance, saying that $1.2 billion in road improvement projects that benefit race fans have opened to traffic since June.

MATT CRIDER can be reached at 940-566-6906.