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04/08 2014

Texas screen certified as world’s largest

Texas screen certified as world’s largest

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — That big new TV on the backstretch at Texas Motor Speedway has been certified as the biggest in the world.

An official from Guinness Book of World Records on Sunday officially certified the track’s claim that its screen dubbed “Big Hoss TV” is the world’s largest high-definition LED video board. It is 218 feet wide and about 95 feet high, covering 20,614 square feet.

“It is amazing what technology and money will accomplish,” said TMS president Eddie Gossage, who has refused to say publicly what the screen cost.

Philip Robertson, the Guinness adjudicator, described the screen as “colossal and fantastic.”

While Robertson provided good news to Texas Motor Speedway, he felt like he disappointed the driver who picked him up Sunday morning.

“Out steps me without a beard. Imagine his disappointment,” said Robertson, who is not related to the Robertson family whose Duck Commander company is the backdrop of the popular “Duck Dynasty” show and the sponsor of the Sprint Cup spring race at Texas.

The screen is a partnership with Panasonic, like the 200-foot by 85-foot board at Charlotte, another SMI track owned by Bruton Smith.

Gossage said Texas Motor Speedway uses the new screen in part as a service tool for those attending events at the track.

Fans in the infield were alerted Thursday about pending severe weather. There were similar alerts Sunday, and there was entertainment shown on the screen while waiting for the weather to clear – from episodes of “Duck Dynasty” to race replays.

“There are so many purposes for it,” Gossage said. “Besides that, it’s the biggest – no period, no qualifier – the biggest, baddest TV on the planet.”

Gossage said the screen has exceeded the expectations of fans.

There has also been feedback from drivers. Gossage said race spotters are using the screen as a reference like other things around the track.

One thing Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano told Gossage was that drivers can’t see on the track when the screen is mostly red.

“If someone has a big lead with like eight laps to go, the screen might go red,” Gossage said, clearly joking.