The F1 race arrives in Austin with high expectations and big fanfare

AUSTIN – This city better known for live music and BBQ will put on a show this weekend of global glitz and speed as Formula One returns for the second season at its only U.S. track. More than 200,000 visitors are expected to descend on the city and file into the Circuit of the Americas track, where some of the world's fastest and costliest cars will compete in the 18th race of the Formula One season. Besides the race, the University of Texas Longhorns football team will host rival Oklahoma State University on Saturday, creating one of the busiest sports weekend in city history. Formula One organizers and sponsors are eagerly waiting to see if the only U.S. track on the Formula One circuit could replicate the crowds that came out for its inaugural race last year, when 265,000 people attended throughout the weekend, including 117,000 for the Sunday race. There's a lot riding on the event, from the $450 million in private investments it took to create the 3.4-mile state-of-the-art track and facility to the future of the sport's popularity in the USA. Last year was the first time Formula One hosted a U.S. race since 2007, when it was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Formula One has been like a gypsy in this country," said Mario Andretti, who won 12 F1 races and, in 1978, became only the second American to ever win a world championship. "The stability Austin will provide in this venue to increase its popularity in the United States and around the world is immense."