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Eddie Gossage: “Nobody wins” in NASCAR-F1 November overlap

Feb 26, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

AAA Texas 500 Getty Images

Still frustrated over having his track’s NASCAR weekend go head-to-head with Formula One at Circuit of the Americas this fall, Texas Motor Speedway president/GM Eddie Gossage said yesterday that “nobody wins” in the scenario.

On Nov. 2, TMS will stage a Chase for the Sprint Cup event at their Fort Worth facility, while Austin-based COTA hosts the United States Grand Prix.

“I can’t say I was surprised because Bernie Ecclestone does a lot of foolish things,” Gossage said according to the Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman while attending a TMS-hosted function in Austin that featured Daytona 500 champ Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“But the thing he unfortunately doesn’t realize is that he isn’t the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to American motorsports. The 800-pound gorilla is NASCAR.”

The American-Statesman also reports that Gossage said COTA didn’t have the experience or strength to move their USGP date, saying that “if it were the other way around, you bet your ass I could stop it and get a different date.”

Meanwhile, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has come out to defend the USGP’s placement on the 2014 World Championship schedule.

In comments to the British Press Association, Ecclestone noted F1’s massive logistics effort to move around the world – saying that Gossage is “extremely lucky” he doesn’t have to deal with that in the domestic-based NASCAR.

“We’ve a small problem they [NASCAR] don’t have – we have six jumbo jets to move around all our equipment, and we have to find the most sensible way to use them to do that,” the British billionaire explained. “We have to be efficient, and bear in mind we may also encounter problems at an airport.

“There are issues that can occur, but he and other people do not realize these things. The race prior to the one in the US is in Russia, in Sochi. We’ve never been before, and we have to get out of there and into Austin. That is probably a lot easier than trying to get into Brazil, and then we have to get out of there [Sao Paulo] to go to Abu Dhabi.”

For his part, Earnhardt himself said he was excited about F1 having an American round but that he was there in Austin to help garner support for the TMS event in November.

“I think [the USGP] is a good thing, and I hope they do well,” he told the American-Statesman. “But we have a lot of fans in the Austin area, and I want to remind them that NASCAR puts on the best show.”

  1. biggdaddy007 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    the only 800lb gorilla is this gossage fellows ego

  2. givemethehighgear - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    NASCAR races at Texas…the next time they put on a good race will the first time they put on a good race.

  3. testover6370 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    I don’t think the conflict is really a big deal. From what I’ve seen, NASCAR doesn’t have much cross-over interest in F1, and vice versa. This is a huge generalization I know, but among motorsports fans I know NASCAR fans might also follow stuff like motocross and the local short track, and F1 fans might also follow sports cars, but I can’t think of anyone who is a big fan of both. And among those who are big fans of both, even if the events were a few weeks apart would they really attend both? I’m a dedicated motorsports fan – I fly to Indy for the 500 and I spend a sizable chunk of our entertainment budget on attending a healthy number of races a year, but I’m not going to the IMSA races at Laguna Seca because they’re too close in time to the Long Beach Grand Prix and my budget just won’t allow that back-to-back. I imagine I’m not alone in that situation.

  4. manik56 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    I can’t help but love what Uncle Bernie did here. Gossage’s crying is fantastic.

  5. markdartj - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Just face it, any weekend between Feb. and Nov. an F-1 event in the US is going to come into conflict with a NASCAR race. Gossage’s race just happened to be the lucky one. I like watching both, but I doesn’t matter to me, there is almost always some racing going on on Sunday one has to choose which to watch.

  6. indycarseries500 - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    The only group that can lose is CotA, NASCAR makes their money off TV/Sanctioning fees, TMS makes enough off the NASCAR TV money that tickets sold are a nice bonus and Formula 1 couldn’t care less if 12 or 120,000 people show up.

    • worknman24hours - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      indycar, that was a spot on post there especially the last part.

      Some of the F1 races have laughably empty stands especially in the ‘less European’ races.

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