Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage is lobbying the city of Fort Worth once again, this time asking for its support of April’s NASCAR race to eliminate any idea of NASCAR possibly ditching TMS for the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin.
City councilman Dennis Shingleton brought this subject up during Tuesday’s city council meeting, and Gossage confirmed that he is constantly in the ear of city officials for support.
“That’s nothing new. I regularly reach out to leaders in the area to try and marshal some support,” Gossage said in an email. “I want fans that come to the races to know they are welcome here. Dennis is our councilman but, most importantly, he’s president of the Fort Worth Sports Authority. He’s a friend I try to remind to be sharing the good message about tourism and the impact of the races. He’s been a good supporter. I just try to remind him and others that the time is near. Nothing special.”
But this keeps alive the story Gossage tried to shoot down late last month that NASCAR would consider adding a race at Circuit of the Americas. Gossage laughed off a report in the Austin American-Statesman about the track’s interest in NASCAR, saying TMS is in the second-year of a five-year deal with NASCAR.
Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein later backed off his comments on bringing NASCAR to Austin, saying that TMS would have to be on board with the move.
Still, low attendance at the races could force NASCAR to explore other options and Austin certainly has one of the top road courses in the country. But, as Gossage noted, TMS had the third- and fourth-largest crowds of the year last season.
Gossage reiterated that Austin would not be getting NASCAR.
“Now if we owned it, maybe!!!” Gossage wrote. “But no. Nothing to see there.
“I’m reminding him [Shingleton] that we need to be competitive. There is pressure within SMI [TMS’ parent company, Speedway Motorsports Inc.] and you know Austin has made some noise.”