On Tuesday, Texas Motor Speedway had its announcement for the 2011 season at the House of Blues in downtown Dallas. Scratch that, it wasn't an announcement, it was an all-out event.
TMS President Eddie Gossage brought in the Goo Goo Dolls, NASCAR CEO Brian France, three-time Indianapolis 500 (and "Dancing with the Stars") champion Helio Castroneves and Tony Stewart for the party, which revealed that Texas' spring Sprint Cup race would be at night and that the IZOD IndyCar Series would have a doubleheader event.
For Stewart, the House of Blues party was the cap to a long day. Before heading to Dallas, Stewart hosted his third annual "Smoke Show," a charity event for the Texas chapter of Speedway Children's Charities at TMS.
The 25 participants of this year's Show each bid on the opportunity to be guided around the track by Stewart, and this year's event raised over $270,000.
NBC correspondent Jenna Bush -- President George W. Bush's daughter -- was at the Show to film a segment with Stewart. While Bush got up to 134 mph, 14 mph off the pace of the top speed of the session, during Thursday's Dan Patrick Show, Stewart said that Bush probably doesn't have a professional driving career ahead of her.
"That's the most scared I've ever been in the passenger seat of a race car," Stewart said.
However, Stewart may not have a wide range of ride-along experiences to draw from. To our knowledge, Stewart hasn't gone on a ride-along with Milka Duno, the IndyCar Series driver who has been in everyone's way so much over the past two seasons that she's in danger of getting kicked out of the Series. Last we checked, Vegas oddsmakers are giving Bush even odds on her TBD upcoming head-to-head matchup with Duno at Texas.
- Texas Motor Speedway