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Eddie Gossage’s Greatest NASCAR Moments

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What’s Happening?

The NASCAR world was saddened Thursday night by the passing away of legendary promoter and former Texas Motor Speedway track President Eddie Gossage. He was one of a kind, and these are some of the greatest moments in his career.

  • Gossage spent many years working with SMI. He first gained notoriety working in Public Relations underneath Humpy Wheeler at Charlotte Motor Speedway. From there, Gossage moved to Texas.
  • He served as Texas Motor Speedway Track President from its opening until his retirement in 2021. Since then, Gossage made fleeting appearances here and there in NASCAR circles, but he’d primarily been out of the spotlight.
  • The passing of Gossage saddened fans. He was beloved by many through the wacky promotions and ideas he always came up with.

1992: “One Hot Night”

Eddie Gossage first came onto the NASCAR map thanks to his role in arguably the greatest track promotion in NASCAR history, “One Hot Night.” Humpy Wheeler convinced R.J. Reynolds not to shelve the All-Star Race by promising the race would happen under the lights. At the time, it was the largest sporting facility outfitted with lights.

Gossage was involved in every aspect of this promotion, which likely saved the All-Star Race. “One Hot Night” is forever burned into NASCAR fans’ memories, and years later, Gossage got a chance to promote his own race track.

Texas Motor Speedway’s Height

Texas Motor Speedway was far from a perfect facility when Eddie Gossage ran it, but, the track was an instant hit for NASCAR in a critical new market. Gossage took the “Everything’s bigger in Texas” mentality to the extreme. At its height, the track brought in upwards of 200,000 people.

While it didn’t have the historical pedigree of other races, in terms of attendance, only the Brickyard 400 brought in more people on a year-to-year basis than Texas in the early 2000s. The track did taper off in later years as NASCAR declined. However, Gossage played a big role in this track’s incredible heights, and he should forever be commended for that.

The Six Shooters

Gossage made Texas Motor Speedway’s uniquely “Texas” as any NASCAR track could be. One way he did this was through the victory lane celebration. After winning the race, the driver was given a pair of Six Shooters to shoot blanks into the sky.

Controversial as it may be, it was a big hit with the local fans. Texas Motor Speedway victory celebrations were unlike any victory lane in NASCAR.

2014: Big Hoss

Charlotte Motor Speedway installed a massive TV on the backstretch in the early 2010s, and Eddie Gossage decided he could do it better. In 2014, Texas became the Guinness World Record holder for the largest TV in the world, an incredible feat that fans at the track enjoyed immensely.

The TV was expanded before the 2023 season, but Gossage made it happen. As they say, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas.”

Driver Retirements

Eddie Gossage also loved to give drivers unique gifts. In 2016, he gave Tony Stewart a giant bobblehead despite claiming that Stewart didn’t want such gifts. Stewart and Gossage remained great friends until Gossage’s death.

In 2017, it was Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s turn. In the most Texas way possible, Earnhardt Jr. was gifted a horse alongside a scoring pylon panel highlighted with the No. 8 in 1st place, commemorating Earnhardt Jr.’s first win.

Eddie Gossage was uniquely himself and one of the most interesting track promoters in NASCAR. He gave fans plenty of memorable moments.

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Joshua Lipowski

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