Texas Motor Speedway boss is angry with Formula 1, and Texas race fans should be, too
Eddie Gossage angry that F1 is racing head to head with NASCAR Cup Series in Texas on Sunday
They say everything is bigger in Texas.
Apparently, that goes for racing feuds, too.
Saying that Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage is upset that Formula 1 and the NASCAR Cup Series are both running races in Texas on Nov. 3 may be the understatement of the racing season. Gossage says that Formula 1 officials are simply disrespecting racing fans this weekend by staging its U.S. Grand Prix in Austin on the same day at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 in Fort Worth.
The two venues are just three hours apart.
“Here’s how I look at it,” Gossage said on a recent episode of the “Autoweek Podcast.” “There’s very little competition between NASCAR and Formula 1, but there is some, and I think it’s an absolute insult, lack of respect, lack of professionalism on the part of Formula 1 to schedule a race on the very same day, three hours away from a NASCAR Cup race.
“There are 52 weekends in the year. They’re going to run NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway two weekends a year. There’s 50 other weekends that Formula 1 could schedule a race. People say, ‘Well, (F1) travels all over the globe, you’ve got to run here in Texas, you’ve got to run in Mexico and have to run those two races close together because of travel. OK, then run Mexico on Nov. 3. Run the U.S. Grand Prix a couple weeks later or flip-flop them.”
The U.S. Grand Prix in Austin is making its eighth stop in Texas this weekend. This year’s race marks just the second time in the race’s history in Texas that it will be run on the same day as the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Both races were contested on the same date last in 2014.
The other six years, the races were separated on the calendar by two weeks.
“To me, it’s an assault by Formula 1 on NASCAR,” Gossage said. “It’s not about Texas Motor Speedway. It’s about something bigger than that. It’s about the sport.
“It’s not good for either. The loser is the race fan, and they’re who I work for. I know that while there might not be a great deal of crossover, there is some. Some people are going to be forced to choose one over the other. Whether is 50-50 or 99-1, that’s not good for the sport.”
If there is one saving grace, for fans watching on TV, it is that the F1 race is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. on ABC TV and should be just about wrapped up in time for the start of the NASCAR Cup race on NBCSN at 3 p.m.
“Formula 1 needs all the support it can get in the States,” Gossage said. “They can talk all they want to about it being world-wide, blah, blah, blah, but the TV ratings are abysmal in the U.S. all year long. This isn’t doing them any good. This is the kind of thing that if done right, can help them a lot. There’s no reason for this kind of conflict to exist.”