Texas Motor Speedway

Texas Motor Speedway to Hold Graduation Ceremonies For Schools in Denton County

NBC 5 News

High schoolers around North Texas are learning how their graduation ceremonies will take place amid the pandemic. 

Many of those ceremonies are virtual. But in Denton County, they may have the most unique ceremony planned, as Texas Motor Speedway.

"I thought for sure our graduation was going to be online, like another Zoom kinda thing," said Isabel Espinoza, a senior at Byron Nelson High School.

Espinosa has never been to a NASCAR race, but she’s super excited to hit the track in a few weeks and collect her diploma.

"That’s going to be like such a unique experience that no one else is ever going to be able to have which I’m really excited about," said Espinosa.

Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage has big plans.

"The graduation class will be on pit row, the ceremony will take them through victory lane and then they’ll be on Big Hoss, the world's biggest TV," said Gossage.

"All their family and friends will be in their cars, like a drive in movie, tune in the radio to an fm signal we have."

Gossage first volunteered the speedway for COVID-19 testing. After all, it’s the biggest parking lot practically anywhere.

Gossage said you can fit four and a half AT&T Stadiums inside the circle. And all of that space was exactly what school leaders had been searching for.

"We have a very unique situation with the speedway," said Northwest ISD Superintendent Ryder Warren. "It’s large enough to follow those CDC guidelines and that’s what's driving this. We're making sure we’re socially distant."

Students will get a hands-free diploma in what you would say is the first graduation here, but it’s not. Some of the youngest drivers are high school seniors who have missed graduation at home and got their diploma here. 

Now students across Denton County get to cross the high school finish line, too.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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