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Cotton Bowl Speedway: Local Racing In The Texas Heat

Texas summers are hot enough to keep the big name racing series away, but the locals still play in the dirt at Cotton Bowl Speedway.

byRip Shaub|
Cotton Bowl Speedway: Local Racing In The Texas Heat


There's a reason there isn't much major racing in Texas in the summer. Circuit Of The Americas goes from IMSA in May to Pirelli World Challenge in September. Texas Motor Speedway goes from IndyCar in June to NASCAR in November. That's because it's brutally hot and races head north for cooler climes. But the locals don't seem to mind the heat one bit.

It hit 105º in Paige, Texas on Saturday but it was business as usual at Cotton Bowl Speedway. Dozens of racers turned out for heats and features in five classes on the 3/8 mile clay oval. Small-town dirt-track racing, under the lights, is about as pure as racing gets. Pride and bragging rights trump big purses and fame. Everybody knows everybody, and they all pitch in to keep the thrill of racing alive. And despite the fact that Texas loses a couple local tracks a year to closures, the community at Cotton Bowl seems as strong as can be.

CBS was kind enough to host me for an evening to capture some of the racing action and I couldn't have had more fun.