Monday, April 9, 2012

Why I Love NASCAR: Texas Motor Speedway by Chief 187™

David Ragan led the field to the green after claiming his first pole in April 2011.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
Texas Motor Speedway is a track that I have yet to explore in person, but I feel I can speak to its greatness with authority.

First, my cousin Steve lives in Texas and frequents the track with his Corvette club for their annual weekend of events. He is a huge proponent of the way the track is run, the amenities, and his time there.

Also a NASCAR fan, Steve loves having Texas Motor Speedway to attend in his home state. I keep promising him that I’ll come down for a visit and we’ll go to a race together. And I will… one day! Do you hear that, Steve?!

But this is not the extent of my knowledge of Texas Motor Speedway. Last year I had the privilege of interviewing Eddie Gossage, President of TMS, and ask him a multitude of questions.

Gossage, an apprentice to Humpy Wheeler, learned much about promoting races from one of the greatest. Gossage took what he learned and put his distinctive mark on it.

Texas Motor Speedway was opened in 1996 having been created to Gossage’s meticulous specifications in Fort Worth, Texas. Controversy surrounded the track because North Wilkesboro Speedway and North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina were closed to give TMS two Cup dates.
Leave it to Gossage to get boxing lockers and turn
the Chase into a real "fight."
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Many longtime NASCAR fans were outraged that two historic tracks were closed to offer dates to TMS, a 1.5 mile “cookie cutter” track that often offers lackluster racing.

It is said everything is bigger and better in Texas. And, whether it’s true or not really isn’t the point, it’s what Eddie Gossage and his talented team make you believe that matters.

Anyone who recalls watching the Chase race from TMS last fall can attest to Gossage and his team’s genius. Playing up the duel between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards was a marketing dream that came to fruition under Gossage’s tutelage.

The Samsung Mobile 500 will, for the second year, be run in the evening. NASCAR enjoys a great Saturday Night under the Lights battle that adds drama and spectacle. The paint schemes dance and the thunder of the engines resonates all the more in the cover of night.

My son is enamored with the traditional presentation of the cowboy hat and guns for the winner. He completely buys into the scene and so do I. So there is always that to look forward!

Whatever Eddie Gossage has to do to keep us interested he will do. In the meantime, I will tune in enthusiastically to watch because Eddie Gossage and Texas Motor Speedway are yet another combined reason why I love NASCAR.

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