DALLAS – Of the many billboards scattered throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 20 serve the whims of Texas Motor Speedway and its president, Eddie Gossage.
The advertisements for the April 11 Duck Commander 500 have two purposes: reminders to the faithful and beacons to the curious.
They’re reminders of the pit road brawl between Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and their respective team members following last November’s AAA Texas 500.
Ten billboards show a stern looking Gordon with the proclamation of “Gordon’s Last Stand!”
The other 10 show Keselowski touching a bloodied lip and the declaration of “Left turns and right crosses!”
TMS President Eddie Gossage has no qualms about using the fight and its images to bring attention to his 1.5-mile track.
“None that I can think of,” Gossage said Tuesday at the track’s Media Day at the House of Blues. “Not a single solitary thing. I think that was incredibly conservative.”
In fact, Gossage had to be convinced not to turn it up a notch.
“First confrontation I’ve seen where actual blood was spilled,” Gossage said. “That was the kind of billboard I wanted to go with, but the staff talked me off of that one. Anyway, you got to have fun with this stuff. Don’t take it so seriously. He just got hit in the mouth, it’s not like (Keselowski) got hurt.”
At least one of the fight’s participants was aware that Gossage would use it to its full advantage in the immediate aftermath. Gossage talked with Gordon about a month after the race, which was won by Jimmie Johnson.
“(Gordon) was in Victory Lane after it was over,” Gossage recalled. “He was just standing over there waiting for (ESPN) to interview him and he said, ‘I looked over and I saw you and thought, ‘… of all places for me to do this, why does it have to be here? Because I know what you’re going to do.’ ”
“Come on, man, give me a challenge.”
His next challenge to market his track could come next year. World Wrestling Entertainment brings it marquee event to AT&T Stadium in Arlington on April 3.
“You know Wrestlemania is going to be in town next year and we’ll hook up with them too,” Gossage said.