North Texas

Roanoke Revs Up During Texas Motor Speedway Race Weekend

Race weekends at Texas Motor Speedway bring thousands of NASCAR fans to nearby Roanoke.

"It's like having two Super Bowls a year," said Mayor Scooter Gierisch. "We have the April race and we have the November race."

"Race weekend is huge," said manager Rich Bailey at Babe's Chicken Dinner House. "It's massive. It's a weeklong festival for us."

Many race fans are drawn to the Hard Eight Pit BBQ, hoping to catch a glimpse of Dale Earnhardt Jr. at his favorite local restaurant.

"He brings a lot of his people here, and they're always in here looking for him," said Hard Eight manager Trent Dietiker. "But it's always nice to take care of him and his crew and all the team members."

The Classic Cafe will seat a lot of race teams during race weekend.

"When I meet these guys, it's like chill, because they're heroes, they're people I've watched since I was a little kid, and they're here in my restaurant eating," said co-owner Chris Wells.

Many local stores are seeing race weekend regulars, coming in from all across the country.

"Even last night, it was like we were ready to close and a couple came running in and they were like, 'Wait, wait! Don't close the store, you know, we're here for race weekend!'" said Donna Totter at Sadie's Upscale Consignment.

Many places are fully staffed to handle the crowds.

"I got everybody working all week, and it's all hands on deck," Dietiker said.

The O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 is Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and the AAA Texas 500 is Sunday at 1 p.m.

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