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There’s no doubt that DFW is one of the hottest spots for sports enthusiast­s. Coming up behind the major franchises are a varied crop of pursuits that are becoming just as popular.

- By Eric Moreno

In a major sports market, find ones that may not be on your radar—but should. Participat­ion encouraged.

There is plenty to be excited about in the next few months with the beginning of three major sports. Feeding into the electricit­y of that charged-up sports scene, however, are sports that at first may get a passing glance. But those ones offer thrills beyond the mainstream and complete the larger mosaic.

To begin with, start at the track—the roller derby track, that is.

The Dallas Derby Devils are an all-female, flat track profession­al roller derby team that competes in the suburb of Richland Hills. Since 2006, the Derby Devils have played in front of frequent sell-out crowds at home. Consisting of five home teams—High Seas Hotties, Suicide Shifters, Wrecking Crew, Slaughtere­rs, and Death Row Rumblers—that all do battle at the NYTEX Sports Centre—the Dallas Derby Devils offer first-class roller derby. The teams will battle it out for the championsh­ip on Sept. 14.

In addition to two NASCAR races during the year, there is an event straight out of “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” combining the speed of stock car racing with the skill of drift racing, returning to the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. On Sept. 13-14, the high-octane, high-adrenaline Round 7 Showdown of the Formula Drift

tour will thrill its Metroplex enthusiast­s.

This fall, there are competitiv­e and fun running events for all skill levels. Be on the lookout for the Mavs Run This Town 5K, benefittin­g the Dallas Mavericks Foundation, on Sept. 7. Almost as much of a party as it is a race, the annual Night Nation Run takes place on Sept. 21 and features a live music festival and DJs throughout the course. Rounding out the season is the Don’t Quit Half Marathon on Oct. 5. Designed to raise awareness about mental health issues, the event also has a 5K and a street fair built into the festivitie­s.

The area has some of the most popular courses in the state. Leading the way are a pair of courses that uniquely tie in to the region’s sports history.

In Arlington, the Texas Rangers Golf Club opened this past February and is the only course in the country to have ties to Major League Baseball. Each hole is named after a signature play in baseball; that, coupled with its scenic layout have made it a must play. Similarly, in nearby Grapevine, the Dallas Cowboys Golf Club was the first NFL-themed course to open in the U.S. Designed by famed golf architect Jeff Brauer, the course seamlessly blends into its surroundin­gs and transports players way from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

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