“We’re getting closer,” Gossage said. “We should be finished soon. All is good.”
Gossage acknowledged that his desire to have Texas return to the race following the Indianapolis 500 won’t happen. That date belongs to Detroit nowadays.
Ideally, TMS would like to finalize a deal before it starts selling 2019 season tickets later this month.
Either way, simply getting something worked out and having IndyCar stay in this market – rather than going to Circuit of the Americas in Austin or doing a road course in Oklahoma City – should be viewed as a win-win situation.
TMS will continue having a summer race date, and IndyCar will have another oval on its schedule and return to a top-five market.
But the IndyCar races have been hit-and-miss in recent years at Texas. Scott Dixon led the final 119 laps of this year’s race, providing little drama for fans.
Open-wheel drivers have become more cautious in their approach on ovals, particularly after Dan Wheldon’s death at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The danger of running on ovals has been well-documented.
But fans and track executives crave drama and photo finishes. It’s hard to sell a race based on the “technology” of a car, or fighting the battle to try and make a driver a mainstream personality.
But TMS needs races to market and IndyCar remains one of the more well-known series in the country. The two will continue working together to figure out ways to make the races must-see entertainment.
Chase Elliott has been labeled the ‘next big thing’ of NASCAR for a couple years. He finally lived up to that billing last weekend, winning his first race at Watkins Glen International.
Elliott won in his 99th race. It was long overdue for the amount of attention he’s received, and Elliott is the first to admit that.
“I definitely think there were some opportunities to win that I didn’t capitalize on,” said Elliott, who had eight runner-up finishes before his victory.
“All the ifs don’t really matter, but it definitely motivates you to want to do better and come back stronger when you do have those rough days.”
For NASCAR’s sake, the hope has to be that this first win opens the floodgates for Elliott. The sport is in dire need of having a young superstar – that wins.