Many race fans miss double header after rainy weekend

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by JONATHAN BETZ / WFAA

wfaa.com

Posted on April 19, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 7 at 5:46 PM

FORT WORTH - Racing is finally under way at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The Samsung Mobile 500 is a rare double-header Monday race at the venue after a weekend of washouts. 

The delay of the weekend races forced hundreds of fans to share highways with morning commuters. For many, the congestion began before dawn.

Last time there was a race on Monday, traffic around the TMS was so bad that the Northwest Independent School District canceled classes back in 2002. That wasn't the case this time since administrators got together late Sunday night to make a new plan to avoid the gridlock.

"It was just good common sense to make sure our buses weren't having to sit through the traffic twice," said Leslie Weaver, a Northwest ISD spokeswoman.

Administrators said the move worked and most students arrived on time.

However, as the races were a go, many fans were leaving.

"I just got to get back home," said Daniel Lauer, a race fan. "I got to get back to the real world that's what."

To keep fans in place, TMS has allowed people with tickets to stay and watch both races at no extra cost.

"I want to watch the race - I want to see both of them - but nope, didn't make it," said Eva Rogers, another fan who had to leave early Monday.

The second race will take place late Monday afternoon, just in time for evening rush hour.

To help keep traffic moving after the double-header, officials will create a contraflow when the race ends.  Eastbound traffic on Highway 114 will only get through from the TMS to Interstate 35W. The highway will reopen to westbound traffic on the stretch of highway just as soon as the TMS clears out.

E-mail: jbetz@wfaa.com

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