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Swap Meet Returns to Texas

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, April 22 2021

The Pate Swap Meet at Texas Motor Speedway is back. (File photo courtesy of Martha Fairris)

FORT WORTH, Texas _ One “car guy’s” trash is another’s treasure, a restore-it-yourself mindset that has seen the Pate Swap Meet morph into the largest automotive event of its kind in the Southwest.

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pate returns to Texas Motor Speedway for its 50th edition today through Saturday, April 22-24, in a new location on the 1,500-acre facility. The relocation of more than 16 miles of vendor space to an area approximately 900 yards east of the regular swap meet location was made in deference to operation of the Denton County vaccination hub, where well over 150,000 shots have been distributed.

“The Pate Swap Meet has been an important part of Texas Motor Speedway’s annual schedule for almost our entire ‘25 Seasons of Speed,’^” TMS President/General Manager Eddie Gossage said. “It’s great to have them back to provide collectors, restorers and the general public with yet another incredible event.”

All Pate Swap Meet vendor spaces as well as the car corral, car show, parking and traffic flow have been moved to avoid interfering with operations of the drive-up vaccine hub. The move impacts 8,500 spaces used by approximately 1,400 vendors serving an estimated 100,000 car collectors, restorers and hobbyists from all over the United States and several countries.

Established in 1972, the event is operated by Pate Swap Meet, L.L.C. The event began as the South Central Swap Meet, organized by Barney Calvert of the Gulf Coast Region AACA in Houston along with five other car clubs.

The “Pate” name is a tribute to Dr. Aggie Pate, founder of the Pate Museum of Transportation near Cresson, original home of this annual rite of spring. Pate, president of the Texas Refinery Company that owned an employee recreation ranch southwest of Fort Worth, housed his private automobile collection in the museum. The inaugural swap meet was held in a rough semi-circle under trees across from the museum with about 350 vendors.

The Pate Swap Meet Association now consists of the 12 largest car clubs in Texas, with the event serving the car restoration hobby and the collection of antique, vintage and notable automobiles and hot rods. Pate Swap Meet is the largest event of its type in the Southwest and second-largest in the United States. Operations of the Pate Swap Meet have been located at Texas Motor Speedway since 1998. Fans can learn more at https://pateswapmeet.com.

This year’s meet at TMS will be the first conducted without David Ray Anderton, the event’s longtime coordinator. Anderton, of North Richland Hills, passed away on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at a local hospital. He was 69. Anderton, who operated Anderton Paint and Body in Fort Worth, was a 39-year member of the Fort Worth Model-A Club, Pate coordinator and a supporter of Wheels for Wellness.

Vendor-wise, the event is organized by street and block and space, allowing visitors to readily locate folks eager to deal inventories of the following: New Old Stock (NOS) car parts, Genuine Old Rusty car parts, complete (and typically grease-covered) V8 engines, front clips, hoods, grilles, tires, wheels, tools, steering wheels, antique and reproduction signs and gas pumps, license plates, emblems, manuals, diecast collectibles, assorted clothing and homemade Americana yard art. Motorcycles of various makes, and their parts, occupy their own space in the Pate landscape.

Gossage said the Pate Swap Meet is an important element in promoting the track’s non-racing “gearhead culture” environment.

“In addition to Pate, we’re going to have three Goodguys (Rod & Custom Association) events here this year,” Gossage said. “Those go a long way towards creating that gearhead lifestyle with cool cars, whether you own one or just enjoy and appreciate them. I don’t have an old car but I’m going to go through Pate because there’s stuff I love. I’m more of an automobilia guy than a parts-and-pieces guy. If you like cars it’s a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday and you don’t have to spend anything. But, you’re going to find lots of things you want. 

“It all feeds into the bigger picture. Our bread-and-butter is racing but we love cars.”

Public admission is free, with $5 for parking. Sunday is reserved for event tear-down and site cleanup.

Fans can keep track of all TMS events by following on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. The latest news and information also is available via the Speedway’s website and TMS mobile app.

Infield camping will return to Texas Motor Speedway for the upcoming NTT IndyCar Series doubleheader and NASCAR All-Star Race weekends as part of the “25th Season of Speed” celebration.

The 2021 major event schedule at “No Limits, Texas” will open with INDYCAR’s Genesys 300 on Saturday, May 1, and XPEL 375 on Sunday, May 2 _ the third and fourth events of the open-wheel calendar. The Genesys 300 will air live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 6 p.m. (CDT), while the XPEL 375 will air live May 2 on NBCSN beginning at 4 p.m.

NASCAR’s All-Star weekend will make its inaugural appearance at TMS June 12-13. The 2021 All-Star Race here will mark only the third time the event has been contested at a facility other than Charlotte Motor Speedway. TMS will join Atlanta Motor Speedway, which hosted the event in 1986, and Bristol Motor Speedway, which hosted the 2020 edition. The aforementioned three facilities are sister tracks to TMS in O. Bruton Smith’s Speedway Motorsports, Inc., empire.

The lead-in to the NASCAR All-Star Race will include the SpeedyCash.com 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on Friday, June 11, and the Texas 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, June 12.

RVs and fifth-wheels will be allowed to pull through the Speedway’s south tunnel to park and set up in the Geico Infield Campground on the east side of Allison Avenue.

“Infield camping at Texas Motor Speedway is an experience unto itself, so we’ve missed the race fans being in the infield as much as they’ve missed being here,” TMS President/General Manager Eddie Gossage said. “I never thought we would have an opening in the infield. And so, this is a complete reset of the infield. People that have always wanted to be in there, now’s their chance because some of these other folks who have had these spots for 25 years are waffling, and they’ve missed the deadline. There’s spots available in the infield that have never been available since the first year (1997). It’s a cool opportunity.”

The following protocols will be implemented for the safety and security of Texas Motor Speedway patrons:

_ RV/camper searches will be required for all Geico Infield Campground patrons. Inspections will be conducted in the Express parking lot just outside the south tunnel.

_  NASCAR and the NTT IndyCar Series will continue to operate within a “bubble” on the west side of the infield for the safety of all teams and industry members. Geico Infield Campground campers and fans must remain on the east side of Allison Avenue for the duration of the event weekends.

_ With the infield shower/restroom buildings as well as the Barr Tunnel (underground tunnel to/from the main grandstands) being located on the west side of the infield, access will not be allowed for the May and June event weekends.

Tickets for Texas Motor Speedway’s 2021 major event season, including the NTT IndyCar Series Genesys 300 and XPEL 375, are now on sale at https://www.texasmotorspeedway.com/nascar-indycar-tickets/.


More than a year after The Speedway Club closed its doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the members-only, fine dining and banquet space at Texas Motor Speedway will reopen May 1-2 by reservation only for the NTT IndyCar Series race weekend.

“Reopening The Speedway Club has been a year-long process because we knew we had to do it safely and correctly,” TMS President/General Manager Eddie Gossage said. “We’re thrilled to be able to do so in conjunction with our Genesys 300 and XPEL 375 NTT IndyCar doubleheader weekend. There will be a few new protocols regarding social distancing and other safety measures, but our commitment to providing a world-class dining experience for our race fans remains our No. 1 priority.”

Lunch service will be available by reservation on Saturday, May 1, beginning at 11:30 a.m., with dinner service to begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner service on Sunday, May 2, will be by reservation only between 2:30 and 5 p.m. Both days will feature culinary dishes from a served buffet.

To accommodate social distancing guidelines set by the CDC, seating will be limited to reservations only. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up throughout the dining room and the restaurant will use disposable menus to further limit person-to-person contact. In addition, standard backpacks/coolers/large purses are prohibited.

The Spa at Texas Motor Speedway also will be open May 1-2 for massage and facial services by appointment only. Due to COVID-19, the showers in The Speedway Club will be closed. Please call 817-215-8480 to book an appointment.

The Turn 1 Terrace will be open to ticketed guests only. Fans can book tickets at 817-215-8500.

For questions about banquet space or information, please contact Meagon Mooneyham at mmooneyham@levyrestaurants.com or call 817-215-8438.



Saturday, May 1 _ Genesys Indy 300/NTT IndyCar Series

Sunday, May 2 _ XPEL 375/NTT IndyCar Series

Friday, June 11 _ SpeedyCash.com 400/NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Saturday, June 12 _ Texas 300/NASCAR Xfinity Series

Sunday, June 13 _ NASCAR All-Star Race

Saturday, Oct. 16 _ O’Reilly Auto Parts 300/NASCAR Xfinity Series

Sunday, Oct. 17 _ Autotrader EchoPark 500/NASCAR Cup Series


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, April 22 2021
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