NASCAR at COTA revs up in Austin

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Thousands of racing fans from across the globe traveled to Austin for the NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of the Americas this weekend, posing a unique challenge for drivers and a rare spectacle for motorsport enthusiasts.

The event attracted fans from 48 states and 15 other countries, NASCAR at COTA representative Scott Cooper said.

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“This is something special for them. I think it’s fun for them. When you talk to the drivers, they know the challenge. They think it’s fun to be here and to really kind of put the cars through the paces,” he said. “They only see this one time a year. They’ll go to other road courses, but there’s nowhere else like Circuit of the Americas.”

Unlike the classic loop that drivers race around in most NASCAR races, the track at COTA features 20 turns over more than three miles. Drivers underscored the new environment demands more skill and technicality.

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NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Leland Honeyman Jr. told Nexstar the race is a challenge he hasn’t seen in his 15 years of racing.

“The track elevation is huge here. If you look at a 3D scale, it’s like a roller coaster. So, it’s very exciting just to get on the track and figure it out,” Honeyman Jr. said.

The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, the main race featuring the best NASCAR drivers, begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

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