Texas Motor Speedway president shuts down NASCAR to Circuit of the Americas talk
Eddie Gossage intends to protect his turf.
The Texas Motor Speedway track president was critical of Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein for recently expressing a desire to host NASCAR events at the Austin, Texas, Formula 1 road course. Epstein said that he had spoken to a NASCAR official and was optimistic that a deal could come together someday.
“I don’t want to slam them at all. I’m sure they’re great folks,” Gossage told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “When I saw it, I just laughed at it because it’s something I would do. You got all this attention on the Daytona 500, so, ‘Hey, we’re trying to bring NASCAR to town.’ Get some publicity on the Daytona 500 coattails.
“But we’re old pros. This is my 38th season in major-league racing. Both TMS and (Speedway Motorsports Inc.) have a tremendous amount of knowledge and talent and ability. They are trying to find their way in a really complicated and nuanced business. It’s all a new challenge for them.”
Gossage has previously scoffed at the idea of IndyCar running an event in Austin. He stopped short of dismissing the F1 venue altogether. Gossage said COTA was 20 years too late and that TMS was protected by a regional competition clause in its five-year contract with NASCAR.
“It’s a nice racetrack, but we’re the place that you’ve got to come to see NASCAR, see IndyCar, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Gossage said.