Fort Worth

Lightning strike rips hole in asphalt at Texas Motor Speedway

Texas Motor Speedway crews on Monday began repairing a hole in the asphalt of the venue’s infield road course blasted open by a lightning strike Thursday night.

The strike was so powerful that it left behind a hole measuring 18 inches in diameter and 5  1/2 inches deep, reaching the track’s concrete base. According to TMS spokesman Mike Zizzo, asphalt was found as far as 150 feet from the strike.

The infield road course sits inside the main, 1.5-mile oval track. During NASCAR races, the road course is covered with RVs and campers.

The damage occurred along the backstretch of the infield road, which runs parallel to the backstretch of the main track — and where high above stands the 10-story tall video screen known as “Big Hoss,” the world’s largest HD television screen, which also has flag poles rising on top of it.

TMS staff at the venue at the time of the lightning strike were stunned that the bolt missed “Big Hoss.”

TMS crews will use Cold Patch asphalt repair, the same compound that would be used to fix a pothole during a race weekend.