Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein added more context Tuesday to his comments about bringing a possible NASCAR race to Austin. And, yes, he fully understands that it wouldn’t happen without the blessing of Texas Motor Speedway.
TMS President Eddie Gossage had strong words about a report in the Austin American-Statesman on Friday that stated Epstein’s desire to bring an additional NASCAR race to Texas.
“I don’t blame them for wanting NASCAR races, it’s just that they’re 20 years too late,” Gossage said. “I don’t think they know the business, or they wouldn’t be saying such things.”
Epstein said his comments were made in a “much broader conversation” about NASCAR possibly wanting to add more road courses. If that’s the case, Epstein said, Austin is the home of the best road course in the country and “the obvious choice.”
“However, it will likely only happen if Eddie and others see it as being good for the sport,” Epstein said. “Texas Motor Speedway is a fantastic place for racing — one of the best in the world. For another NASCAR event to take place in Texas, it would likely have to be additive and complementary to the racing at TMS.
“If it’s not good for the sport, or if it hurts TMS, then it doesn’t need to happen. It’s simply that if road courses are desirable, then the best in the world is here in the United States.”
Epstein included quotes from reigning Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch, who seemed to be on board with the idea. Busch races for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and Haas has a Formula One team that runs in the annual event at Circuit of the Americas.
“The way that this track races, you would have to be elbows-up and prepared to do battle every lap with all these great competitors,” Busch said.
At the end of the day, as Gossage said, it makes sense that Circuit of the Americas would want NASCAR. But TMS is proud to be the only home for NASCAR in this region and it doesn’t appear willing to give that up.
At least not yet.