Dallas Motorsports: Eddie Gossage

Eddie Gossage likes Chase changes

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage commented on NASCAR's new changes to the Chase format, which the sanctioning body announced on Thursday. Here are some of Gossage's thoughts as part of a Q&A provided by TMS:

Q: What change did NASCAR make that you thought was most needed?

Gossage: The thing that NASCAR did with this is they made sure every single race counts. You are no longer racing for a big, long-term picture; you are racing for today and that is what fans want to see. They want to come to a race and know that they are seeing the drivers and their teams doing the very best, lap after lap, race after race and that this race today matters more than anything else going on. They are not worried about next week. They aren't looking toward the end of the season. They are worried about today because if you win today you are in the Chase. You've got a shot at winning the championship for the season. Everybody is going to try and be winning this race and the next week they are going to try and win that race. There is no pacing yourself. There are no testing things out and trying things out. You want to win today. So when you come to Texas for the April race, that race is huge. You've got to win. And if you can win there your season is made, you are in the Chase. To me, that means so much to the fans. They want to see that race that they bought a ticket to matter. Nobody buys a ticket to see a point championship. People are buying a ticket to see a race.

Q: Do you think that NASCAR is trying to manufacture playoff drama with the changes or ultimately looking to improve the overall product?

Gossage: It's often a criticism of NASCAR that they are somehow trying to manufacture things and I don't understand that because I didn't see that same charge levied against the NFL when they talked about eliminating the point after touchdown kick. Is the NFL trying to manufacture excitement? Yes! Absolutely they are and that is exciting. Is NASCAR trying to manufacture some excitement here? Absolutely! What is wrong with that? Through the years we have seen the playoff for various sports expanded. The NFL use to have a couple of teams - or three teams and a conference - that would have a playoff and go to the Super Bowl. Now it is up to six teams. In some leagues, they take 50 percent of the teams and put them in championship rounds for the playoffs. Everybody tries to do that in some fashion or another. I don't know why it's different when people talk about NASACAR that way. Every sport is trying to create excitement and this is no different.

Q: Do you like the elimination style where you need to produce throughout the Chase or you could have an early playoff exit just like some "stick-and-ball" sports?

Gossage: I like the eliminations. I really do. You are going to have to produce early on or else you are going to get kicked out after that third race. Then more are going to get kicked out after that sixth race. Then after the ninth race, it's down to four drivers. I think that is a good thing. That focuses the spotlight nice and hot on these drivers that are in the Chase. The eliminations to me make a lot of sense. It happens in every other sport. People can say what they want to but every other sport - you can have a great season but when you get to the playoffs you lose, you go home. Same thing here. You are going to have to win and do well in the Chase if you want to win the championship.

TMS Talk: Eddie Gossage

June, 6, 2013
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage joins Galloway & Company to discuss the upcoming race weekend at TMS.

Listen here.

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss NASCAR Trucks and IndyCar race week at TMS, the evolution of Indy racing, ESPN sports science and more.

Listen here.

Eddie Gossage on NRA sponsorship

April, 12, 2013
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage joins Galloway & Company to discuss the NRA sponsorship and who he's picking to win Saturday's Sprint Cup race.

Listen here.

Greg Biffle and Eddie Gossage preview NRA 500

April, 8, 2013
Greg Biffle and Eddie Gossage join Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the upcoming NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and the drama going on around NASCAR.

Click here to listen.

Six-shooter celebration to stay

April, 3, 2013

Firing six-shooters with blanks will remain a part of the Victory Lane celebration for the April 13 Sprint Cup race that will be sponsored by the National Rifle Association, TMS president Eddie Gossage announced Wednesday.

Gossage told ESPN.com last month he planned to meet with some Cup owners to see if they or their sponsors opposed the celebration because of a potential conflict with the NRA's involvement.

"The more thought I gave to it, the more I realized that it is purely a celebration,'' Gossage said. "As you know, it's been going on for a long time and is not affiliated with the NRA. As a result, I decided we would go through our normal Victory Lane celebration, including the Cowboy Boot Trophy, the cowboy hat and the six-shooters. It is my decision and I'm sure it will be fine."

What do you think?

TMS gets new sponsor for Sprint Cup race in April

March, 4, 2013

FORT WORTH -- The National Rifle Association is taking its relationship with racing to a new level as the title sponsor of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

NASCAR Truck champ James Buescher joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett at Media Day at Texas Motor Speedway.

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Texas Motor Speedway announced Monday that its April 13 race, the first night race on the Cup schedule this season, will be known as the NRA 500. It is a one-year agreement with a renewal option.

TMS president Eddie Gossage said the NRA has been involved in racing for several years and a generous supporter of Speedway Children's Charities, donating more than $500,000 to the charity's Texas chapter since 2000.

"This race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship," Gossage said. "We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our April race week."

For more of the story, click here.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett at TMS Media Day

March, 4, 2013
NASCAR Truck champ James Buescher joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett at Media Day at Texas Motor Speedway.

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It's that time of year with the Texas 500 closing in -- just six weeks or so away -- for media day at Texas Motor Speedway. Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett will be there with the ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM radio crew.

Lots of good guests will join us, including Danica Patrick's boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who made the jump to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition after four years in the Nationwide Series.

We'll also talk to TMS president Eddie Gossage about the state of NASCAR, Danica Patrick's importance to the sport and what to expect at TMS in April.

So join us on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM on Monday. Listen here.

IndyCar approaches TMS about season finale

June, 13, 2012
IndyCar announced Wednesday that the Aug. 19 race in China has been cancelled. Needing another date to complete its season, the circuit has contacted Texas Motor Speedway about hosting what could become the season finale, possibly Oct. 7.

Here the statement released by TMS president Eddie Gossage about the situation:

"The thought is intriguing to potentially have Texas Motor Speedway once again play host to the INDYCAR season finale, just like we did from 1999 to 2004, in the nation's fourth-largest media market. However, we did not have the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR triple-header in early November at that time and a September or early October date could pose several obstacles on a variety of fronts that we would have to consider before making a decision. Considering the shrinking window to properly promote the season finale to its fullest, we will have to make a decision fairly quickly."
Read more about the IndyCar's options here.

Eddie Gossage, Graham Rahal: No TMS danger

March, 6, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Although any notion of a June boycott by IndyCar Series drivers had already been extinguished, it still was a hot topic during Texas Motor Speedway's media day Tuesday.

Track president Eddie Gossage said he hadn't heard from any drivers about safety concerns, specifically the fencing around the high-banked oval. And that's why he reacted angrily after reading about such concerns on a web site report last week.

Gossage remained defensive of the track's safety record Tuesday, adding that he's already talked to IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard.

"We're going to do what's right," Gossage said. "You never compromise safety. ... We're the only people that have had any engineers look at it. I think everybody has a better handle on it. They say they never talked about a boycott. ... I just know what I read."

Gossage also was quick to point out that last year's Firestone Twin 275 races only had one caution.

"I don't know why a speedway that had two races with one caution last year was suddenly the target," Gossage said.

Safety issues became paramount after driver Dan Wheldon died during a horrific crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October. Wheldon's car went airborne during the accident and the driver's head hit a pole on the fencing, which is similar to that used at TMS.

"Safety is not something to joke about. Safety is not something to take lightly. And we're not about to," Gossage said. "It's coming on the heels of a really catastrophic event ... and everybody is ultrasensitive to it.

"You can have emotional feelings about it, but the solution is a fact-based solution. I'm emotional about Dan because I cared a lot about Dan. He was a good guy, a good friend, everything about him ... and it was so tragic. But when you start talking about 'now what,' that has to be based solely on facts. Solely."

IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal, who was at the track Tuesday, said there are no safety concerns at TMS, which has hosted 23 IndyCar races since 1997 -- 16 of which have been decided by less than one second.

"It's never been something that crossed my mind," Rahal said. "Texas has always put on close races. Does that make a driver more nervous? Yeah, but it would make anybody more nervous. We realize that our sport is two things: Obviously to go fast in race cars, and it's also entertainment. The fans like to see close racing.

"The show we put on here is second to none," Rahal said. "We want to be here."

IndyCar drivers insist they won't boycott Texas

March, 5, 2012
SEBRING, Fla. -- Several IndyCar drivers dismissed any notion of boycotting Texas Motor Speedway, and said the entire issue has been blown out of proportion.

"I want to stop all this nonsense discussion about boycotting. It's absurd, it's ridiculous and we are professionals and will race there," Helio Castroneves said on Monday, following the first day of spring training testing at Sebring International Raceway.

Texas track president Eddie Gossage reacted angrily last week to rumors that IndyCar's drivers had discussed skipping the June 9 race at Texas over concerns with how the fence is constructed. Gossage was bothered by a report two weeks ago that indicated the drivers had discussed boycotting the race, but hadn't come to that conclusion yet.

"It's absolutely irresponsible of those drivers, and they deserve -- because of the way they conduct themselves sometimes -- they deserve where they stand now in the food chain of motorsports," Gossage told racing website Racin' Today in quotes that surfaced Friday.

That led IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard to issue a statement Saturday, insisting the series will be in Texas as planned in June.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse at TMS on Tuesday

March, 5, 2012
The Ben & Skin Show will be broadcasting live from Texas Motor Speedway from 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday as some of racing reigning champions visit for the track's annual media day.

Among the guests to join TMS president Eddie Gossage will be reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the checkered flag during the fall race at TMS.

Also visiting TMS will be Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse, Camping World Truck Series rookie and 2011 ARCA champion Ty Dillon, IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal and Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen.

While listening to Ben & Skin, fans can also watch the festivities at texasmotorspeedway.com.

Daytona winner Matt Kenseth to visit Mavs

February, 28, 2012

Matt Kenseth, the newly crowned Daytona 500 champion from Monday night's season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, will visit with the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and Coach Rick Carlisle tonight as part of the "Night of Champions."

Prior to tonight's Mavs game against the New Jersey Nets, Carlisle will present Kenseth with an autographed world championship basketball. Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage will also be on hand.

NASCAR returns to TMS on April 14 for the Samsung Mobile 500.

Shuttle pilot returns to TMS with flag

November, 6, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Doug Hurley, a Texas Motor Speedway season-ticket holder and the pilot of the final Space Shuttle mission this past July, returned the flag to TMS president Eddie Gossage on Sunday.

Hurley took a "No Limits" flag up with him and invited Gossage and TMS media relations director Mike Zizzo to the launch and Gossage called it one of his "bucket list" events.

Gossage said the track has something special planned for how the flag will be unveiled prior to today's race.

Hurley said he's been a season-ticket holder since 2006, when the track got a second Sprint Cup race.

You want No Limits? OK, you asked for it ...

November, 3, 2011

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage is more than happy to hype this Sunday's Sprint Cup race -- the AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m., ESPN).

In fact, ESPN.com writer Ed Hinton has put together a top-10 list on why it promises to the best event -- ever!
Here's #9: Because TMS draws 8.5 million fans in 3.4 million luxury motor coaches to every single race, and every race gets bigger. (No, Gossage doesn't disclose attendance. You have to go by his insinuations.)
Click here to read the full list.

'Honest Eddie' always keeps it unreal

April, 7, 2011

He calls himself a carnival barker, gives guns to race winners and loves pranks. Eddie Gossage and TMS make a wild pair.

Here's an excerpt from Ed Hinton's story:
Those of us who have known Gossage for any time at all -- and I've known him for a good 25 years -- sense that he harbors political ambitions.

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage previews the big race under the lights this coming weekend.

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"I would never run for office -- I'm too honest," he said. "I'm a race promoter."

Now you talk about a mouthful of irony…

Pressed as to how many politicians deny their ambitions and claim to be political outsiders, right up until they announce their candidacy, Gossage reiterated, "I'm honest! I'm honest!"

Thus my new nickname for him, Honest Eddie.

C'mon. What about governor of Texas?

"I've got higher aspirations in life than that," he said.

What, then? Senator? President of the United States?

"Well, I mean, if the guy running the baseball team across town [former Texas Rangers owner George W. Bush] could become president, why couldn't I?" he said.

"I've got some of his staff that worked over there, and they work for us now. So … you know. … No, I'm just kidding. I shouldn't even joke like that."

Twenty-five years, and still I'm rarely sure when Honest Eddie is joking and when he isn't.

He did issue this disclaimer: "I don't believe anything I say."
For more on "Honest Eddie," click here.