FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Talk about a Texas-sized TV.
Texas Motor Speedway unveiled the world's largest high-definition video board Wednesday night, with the flip of a switch on a huge remote control setting off fireworks before the screen lit up with highlights from past races and events at the track.
"There's nothing like attending live sporting events. This means you don't miss a thing," track president Eddie Gossage said. "To me, it's an ultimate fan amenity, and also to have the biggest one in the world."
Gossage said the screen — dubbed "Big Hoss TV" — lives up to the adage that everything is bigger in Texas.
The screen is 218 feet wide and about 95 feet high. It is about 125 feet above ground level in the middle of the backstretch at the 1½-mile track. The screen measures 20,633 square feet, surpassing the size of a 200-foot by 85-foot board at Charlotte, another SMI track owned by Bruton Smith. Both video boards are a partnership with Panasonic.
About 8,000 people sat in the infield on a chilly night for the free public debut, which included showing of the new episode of "Duck Dynsasty."
The new title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup spring race at Texas is Duck Commander, the brand of best-selling duck calls and Robertson family-owned company featured on the popular A&E show. The race is April 6.
'We've been in business for 40 years, but obviously in the last two, we've really taken off," said Willie Robertson, the CEO of the West Monroe, La.-based company who attended the screen debut. "All these opportunities are new."
Asked if he had ever seen himself that big, Robertson replied, "Only in my mind, bro."
His wife and business partner, Korie, said the couple recently saw themselves on a big screen in a preview of "God's Not Dead," a Christian movie being released this week.
"That was the biggest. This will definitely top that for sure," she said.
IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves, whose only victory last season was at Texas, said such screens can definitely be a distraction. He recalled getting a glimpse of a smaller board near the fourth turn at Indianapolis during the closing laps on the way to winning his third Indianapolis 500 in 2009.