News & Media

Texas swaps out circuit breakers in lighting system

April 14, 2012, David Caraviello,

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Texas Motor Speedway changed out all the circuit breakers in its lighting system prior to Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at the facility to avoid localized outages like those that briefly interrupted the track's Nationwide Series event.

Friday night's Nationwide race was stopped under a red flag for a little less than six minutes as track technicians changed out a circuit breaker that had tripped and knocked out some of the lights in Turn 3. It was the second failure of the same circuit breaker that evening, which track president Eddie Gossage attributed to the piece of equipment being 15 years old.

* Video: Lights go out at Texas

As a precaution, Gossage said track maintenance workers changed out all 400 breakers overnight Saturday. The track had extras stored in a warehouse on the property.

"They simply went though and changed the breakers, putting new ones in, because they're 15 years old," Gossage said Saturday. "Just to be sure."

Circuit breakers are designed to shut off when an overload is reached to prevent damage to an electrical system. Gossage said breakers will sometimes trip in warmer weather, and the problem Friday night originally was believed to be overheating. After the second failure, though, the breaker was replaced. The wholesale change-out took place overnight as part of regular maintenance the facility undergoes on the eve of any major event.

"They were here all night. That's what you do. It's race time," Gossage said. "You paint the walls every night, you paint the start/finish line every night, you do all that stuff."