Next weekend the sports world will descend on Texas again, this time for
the 2013 rendition of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. The state capital of
Austin will host the event for a second time, making the United States and Texas
the focal point of a worldwide audience.
Racing enthusiasts, and even the casual fan, will recognize the entrants in the
Grand Prix event – Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, Lotus and others.
The campfire the legions of worldwide fans will gather around is the qualifying
and championship race itself on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Like last
year’s USGP in Texas and other Formula 1 Grand Prix races held globally, this
event will bring much more to the region than burnt rubber and the world’s
most advanced racing cars.
Entertainment is an integral part of the event and
this year’s event will feature international music stars such as Sting and
Pitbull. With the Dallas Cowboys on a bye week, even the Dallas Cowboys
Cheerleaders will be on hand for the event.
The United States Grand Prix also holds the distinction of being the second to
last Formula 1 Grand Prix of the season, making its outcomes all the more
important. On the line at this penultimate F1 race will be placements in the
World Drivers' Championship (WDC) and the World Constructors' Championship
Eleven teams of two drivers each race throughout the calendar year with
those two goals in mind.
First place in both the Drivers' Championship and the Constructors' Championship
is already locked up going in to the Austin event. German Sebastian Vettel and
his Red Bull racing team have already clinched the number one spot for both.
Vettel has proven to be the today's Michael Schumacher. The F1 great won five
consecutive WDCs from 2000-2005, Vettel has won the last four in a row.
Similar to the Olympics, there is glory beyond first place in Formula 1. Since
this is the pinnacle of auto racing, there is prestige in second and third place;
silver and bronze if you will.
The drivers to look after in the US Grand Prix will the ones jockeying for
second and third place – Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen,
and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes and Ferrari are in a virtual dead heat
for second place in the Constructors' Championship with Lotus not too far back.
Formula 1 auto racing does not get the exposure in America that NASCAR gets, but
this is changing. As the world becomes smaller, fans are able to record
overseas races, and with the bevy of information available on the internet,
Formula 1 is gaining more popularity in the US.
Texas will continue to be a
focal point with its US Grand Prix, since it’s only one of three F1 races in
the Americas (Montreal’s Canadian Grand Prix and Sao Paulo’s Brazilian Grand
Prix are the other two).
The further progress of the racing promotion may hinge on the inclusion of an
American driver. All indications show this driver could be California native,
Alexander Rossi. Rossi is a reserve driver for the Caterham-Renault F1 team.
During the first round of the Friday practice, Rossi is scheduled
to do laps out the race circuit for this team. They may not be official racing
laps but if he proves his skill over time Americans could probably see him
competing in future Grand Prix races.
For Southeast Texans interested in attending, the event there are still tickets
available for the 110,000 plus capacity Circuit of the Americas. More information
can be found at circuitoftheamericas.com.
The Friday practice and Saturday
qualifying rounds will be aired on the NBC Sports Network and the championship
race will air Sunday at 1 p.m.Central on NBC.
David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts and racing columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com
Next weekend the sports world will descend on Texas again, this time for
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Bassmaster Elites are coming back
The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
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