Hundreds of thousands to pack Texas Motor Speedway for triple-header

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 4 at 3:43 PM

Gates opened Friday for the start of the action-packed three days of NASCAR racing at the Texas Motor Speedway.

With 400,000 fans expected each day, local police are gearing up for the inevitable - a traffic nightmare.

It won't be long before State Highway 114 is a parking lot. Traffic there is expected to be the worst after 5:30 Friday and again Saturday before 4 p.m., which is when police will put into place what they call "contra-flow" plans.

The flow of traffic will be reversed as needed to open up more lanes either to or from the Speedway to get fans in and out more quickly.

Neighbors know the drill all too well. Tiffany Ramsey said it normally takes her five minutes to drive from a gas station outside the Speedway to her home a mile away. But, this weekend, as in years past, she knows it could take an hour or two. Ramsey said she's not a big fan of the races.

Neighbor Rick Lain said he plans accordingly, knowing it will take a little longer to get around the Speedway this weekend. He told News 8 he got on the road a little earlier to drop off his daughter at school Friday, but found traffic to be lighter than usual. His only complaint is that he has to work over the weekend and won't be able to see the races in person.

Contra-flow plans will also be in place after Friday and Saturday night's events. Those looking to steer clear of the traffic altogether are advised to avoid State Highway 114 and Interstate 35W near the Speedway through Sunday.

NASCAR fans looking for the speediest way to get to the races are encouraged to arrive as early as possible Friday and before 4 p.m. Saturday.

Some die-hard fans have found a way to avoid traffic tie-ups altogether. They have already reserved a spot at one of the Speedway's campgrounds, where parked RVs and tents are just a walk away from the action.

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