Eddie Gossage

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Six-shooters will return to Texas Motor Speedway Victory Lane celebration

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After a one-race absence, the traditional six-shooters will again be part of Texas Motor Speedway’s Victory Lane celebrations this season, track president and general manager Eddie Gossage has announced.

The guns were absent from the last Cup race at the 1.5-mile track on Nov. 5 when Kevin Harvick won.

Gossage nixed the guns in the immediate aftermath of a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that same day which killed 26 people.

“I just thought ‘this isn’t the thing to do today,’ ” Gossage told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram during a Goodyear tire test at the track. “It was too close to us. If it had happened in, fill in the blank, whatever state miles and miles and miles away, I wouldn’t have thought like that. But it happened in our own backyard, more or less, in San Antonio.

“The six-shooters are not any kind of political statement or anything like that. They’re just a silly stereotypical Texas cowboy celebration. That’s all they are. A lot of different colleges and universities shoot guns or cannons or things like that at the kickoff or when they score a touchdown. And that’s all that is.”

The six-shooters have been given out since the spring 2005 Cup race. TMS also awards a Henry repeating rifle to pole-winners.

NASCAR holds its first Texas race weekend April 6-8, culminating in the Cup Series’ O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.

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NASCAR America: Eddie Gossage using Martinsville fallout, Dale Jr. to promote Texas race

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Eddie Gossage hit the jackpot this week.

The president and general manager of Texas Motor Speedway has quite a bit on his plate to promote this weekend’s Cup playoff race at the 1.5-mile track.

Not only does he have Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s last race at the track to entice fans, he now has the controversy between Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin that erupted last weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

After Hamlin wrecked Elliott from the lead two laps from the scheduled distance, the fans at the track showed their displeasure as the two drivers had a heated discussion on the backstretch. Their uproar continued on social media and the radio waves throughout the week.

The lights at Martinsville were still hot when Gossage, who has operated Texas Motor Speedway since it opened in 1997, went to work to use the mayhem to his advantage.

Soon, an advertisement declaring Elliott as “The People’s Champion” was debuted by the track.

Gossage called into NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race and how he’s promoting it.

“You want to come after Martinsville and Talladega, because after both of those races everybody’s mad at everybody,” Gossage said. “Certainly from Martinsville last weekend there’s some stories coming out of that one that we didn’t quite see happening and it does make it more interesting.”

Gossage added that his track isn’t the best place for someone to seek payback for an accident that happened on a short track.

“Let’s be honest, at 195 m.ph. I’m not sure they’re going to be getting retribution this weekend or anything like that, ” Gossage said.

But that won’t keep Gossage from milking the feud for all it’s worth.

Watch the above video for the full interview.

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage to receive distinguished alumni award

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Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage is going back to college.

The veteran motorsports promoter is heading back to his alma mater, Middle Tennessee State, this weekend to receive the school’s highest alumni honor.

Gossage will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which according to a media release, “is presented to an alumnus representing excellence and distinction through their professional career, loyal support and service to the broader community.”

Gossage will accept the award during MTSU’s homecoming celebration Friday at 4 p.m. ET. He’ll also be honored at a variety of other activities on campus over the course of the weekend.

“It will be great to see the homecoming parade and the crowds along East Main and the pride the students have,” Gossage said. “It’s just really great to see that this was the place I picked when I was coming out of high school and look at how it has succeeded.

“It’s obviously doing something right. The university and Dr. McPhee (MTU president Dr. Sidney McPhee), they are doing things right. That’s why I’m proud to say I’m from Middle Tennessee.”

A Nashville native, Gossage earned a degree from the school’s former College of Mass Communications. He is in his 21st year of running Texas Motor Speedway.

“As I think back on Middle Tennessee State, it was a great place to learn and a great place to grow up,” Gossage said. “It’s one of the most fortunate decisions of my life.

“Thirty-eight seasons later, I’m still in the racing business and it has been very good to me. It’s exploded at a level and grown at a pace that I could have never foreseen.

“But I was fortunate to be at the right place, at the right time with the skills I had learned at Middle Tennessee. I was able to apply it and have success.”

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Legislation could help Texas Motor Speedway to lure All-Star Race, season finale

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Texas Motor Speedway could become a player for the NASCAR All-Star Race or Cup season finale with legislation making the track eligible for money to help bring those events there.

H.B. 3294 was filed Monday without Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. It becomes effective Sept. 1.

The measure updates the law. It makes the track eligible for funding should it ever get the All-Star race or season-ending championship race. The money comes from the state’s Major Events Reimbursement Fund, which provided millions to help lure the 2017 Super Bowl.

An event has to be listed to be eligible for funding. Texas Motor Speedway previously had not been listed in the law.

“It’s just going to give us a tool, should we choose to use it, to give us an opportunity to pursue some events in a way that have probably never been pursued in NASCAR before,’’ Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, told NBC Sports. “Don’t know that we’re ever going to use it, but at least it’s something we’ve got in our tool kit that I don’t know anybody else in motorsports has.’’

NASCAR awards its races to tracks. There isn’t a bidding process as there is for a Super Bowl or NCAA Final Four. The 2018 Cup schedule has been set with Charlotte Motor Speedway scheduled to host the All-Star Race for the 33rd time in 34 years. The 2018 schedule has Homestead-Miami Speedway hosting the season finale for what would be the 17th consecutive year.

NASCAR has five-year sanctioning agreements with tracks that go through 2020.

Gossage said that it was his understanding that its two Cup race weekends were not eligible for such funding from the state, so the track sought to have the All-Star Race and championship finale added as part of the legislation.

Events the measure lists as eligible for funding include all-star games for the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer, a national championship college football game, a World Cup soccer game or tournament and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Finals Rodeo, among others.

The Major Events Reimbursement Fund is controlled by the governor’s office. There is a formula that determines what each event is eligible to receive. The fund is supported by state and local sales taxes, auto rental tax, hotel and alcohol state taxes.

The Associated Press reported that the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston was eligible for $25 million and the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race in Austin, Texas, was eligible for $26 million.

Gossage said the track has not had any discussions with NASCAR seeking the All-Star Race or season finale.

Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway are both owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., so moving the All-Star Race would have to be approved by Marcus Smith, president, chief executive officer of SMI.

“Ultimately, it’s Marcus’ decision as to whether to try to use it, and I honestly can’t tell you what he would say,’’ Gossage said. “He’s president of the company and that’s all eight speedways. He’s got to make decisions that are in the best interest for the company. That’s going to be tough particularly when the company is based in Charlotte and we’re talking that one of these events is a Charlotte event.’’

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Ex-NASCAR driver Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks part of Trucks/IndyCar weekend at Texas

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Friday night, Texas Motor Speedway will play host to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the winstaronlinegaming.com 400 race.

There will also be a different kind of truck taking part in the four-day IndyCar/NASCAR weekend, one that will do things a Camping World Truck can only dream about doing.

Robby Gordon (l) and Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage.

Remember Robby Gordon, former NASCAR and IndyCar driver? He’s gone on to create — and races in — one of the fastest growing motorsports series in the world, the Stadium Super Trucks (SST) series. The series will have two races at TMS on Saturday and one race Sunday.

Check out Gordon giving Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage and several Dallas-Fort Worth area reporters on one kind of wild ride that likely will have some of the Truck Series’ drivers envious.