PRIMESTAR DEAL LEADS TO CBS CALLING NASCAR RACE TEXAS 500
A "record" 220,000 fans attended the Primestar 500 at
the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Sunday, and Barber & Fox
of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS report that "after past hassles
at the troubled speedway -- which included problems with
parking, traffic and the racing surface itself -- Sunday's
focus was limited to the race" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/29).
After a "relatively incident-free and complaint-free racing
weekend," NASCAR Senior VP Mike Helton said that Texas Motor
Speedway "has passed its final exam." Helton said that TMS
"has fixed the water seepage problem that plagued the
racetrack a year ago." TMS went through a $3M renovation
last year (STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/29). Drivers who were critical
of the track when it opened in '97 "have switched gears and
given a thumbs-up to the modifications and improvements"
(Pete Alfano, FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/28).
PRIMESTAR 500 TO SOME, TEXAS 500 TO OTHERS: In Dallas,
Barry Horn notes that CBS "insisted on calling" yesterday's
Primestar 500 the Texas 500, which was last year's name.
Horn notes that Primestar "wouldn't ante up more money to
the network" for the title rights. Horn also adds that
CBS's announcers "were not shy in dropping the names of the
cars' sponsors" yesterday, as Mike Joy referred to the
camera in Dale Jarrett's car as "The-Quality-Care-Service-
Ford-Credit-race-cam" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/29).
CBS CUTS IN: CBS News cut into the network's race
broadcast to televise a special report on Kosovo just as TX
Gov. George Bush was waving the green flag to start the
proceedings. Horn reports that CBS Sports said that NASCAR
fans, "to their credit, did not deluge the network
switchboard with complaints." CBS rejoined the race in the
middle of the fifth lap (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/29).