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COTA wants NASCAR, Texas Motor Speedway says no way

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Circuit of the Americas wants NASCAR, Texas Motor Speedway says no way

By Jerry BonkowskiFeb 28, 2017, 1:28 PM EST

 

Texas Motor Speedway has what in-state rival Circuit of the Americas wants: NASCAR.

 

Separated by a few hours – TMS in Fort Worth and COTA in Austin – and different racing platforms (1.5-mile oval vs. 3.4-mile road course), the two tracks have peacefully coexisted since COTA opened in 2012.

 

But that could be changing. COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein is interested in bringing NASCAR racing to his track.

 

“I’ve had contact with NASCAR officials, and we’ve heard from their fans and drivers,” Epstein said in a recent story in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. “Everyone seems to want to be here, so I see no reason why it couldn’t come together.

 

“It’s something fans are asking for in droves. We hear it, and I’m assuming (NASCAR) hears it, too. They are continuing to tweak their product, looking for new ideas. This would be something different, a change of pace. I’d be pretty optimistic it could happen because NASCAR said they want more road courses, more non-ovals. Now that they’ve said that, this is the best one in the country. So if enough fans want them here, I think they’ll be here one day.”

 

Epstein’s interest in NASCAR is not exactly sitting well with his counterpart at TMS, track president Eddie Gossage, particularly since this is the first that Gossage has heard of COTA reportedly having some form of discussions with NASCAR.

 

“Anyone can talk to a NASCAR official,” Gossage told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper. “What NASCAR official? What’d they say? That doesn’t mean a thing. We’re all bound by contracts.”

 

Texas Motor Speedway has a 20-year legacy of hosting NASCAR events on its 1.5-mile track, which is being repaved before the first of its two annual NASCAR race weekends in early April. Texas Motor Speedway also hosts a Verizon IndyCar Series race each season.

 

COTA, which opened in 2012, is entering its fifth full season of racing on its 3.4-mile Gran Prix-style road course. It holds a variety of events, particularly sports car racing. But its biggest events are the Formula One Grand Prix on Oct. 20-22 and MotoGP on April 21-23.

 

The F1 race is two weeks before Texas Motor Speedway’s second NASCAR race weekend of the season (also part of the playoffs), and the MotoGP race is two weeks after TMS’s first NASCAR race weekend of 2017.

 

“But we’re old pros,” Gossage told the Star-Telegram. “This is my 38th season in major-league racing. Both TMS and (parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc.) have a tremendous amount of knowledge and talent and ability. They are trying to find their way in a really complicated and nuanced business. It’s all a new challenge for them.”

 

With new series sponsor Monster Energy, NASCAR is looking at ways to create new interest and attract new fans. One area that has been looked at is adding more road course races to the schedule (NASCAR has two road course races each year, at Sonoma, California, and Watkins Glen, New York).

 

That prospect interests Epstein, but also irritates Gossage, who told the Star-Telegram that TMS is in the second year of a five-year contract with NASCAR and has added geographic protection from the sanctioning body that other races will not be held in close proximity to TMS.

 

“I don’t blame (COTA) for wanting NASCAR races, it’s just that they’re 20 years too late,” Gossage told the Star-Telegram.

 

Neither COTA nor NASCAR officials responded to request for comment from the Star-Telegram.

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On television the road course races are better than most so I would be watching. As far as attending , no way. You see only a small part of the track.

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But in COTA's first year "we do not want NASCAR here".

 

Looks like back pedaling cus they cant pay their bills. Maybe if all them millionaires who own and run the place didnt have their nose in the air they might see the obvious but they wont, they are just trying to find new ways to get the new homes in Italy and France paid for.

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You really think a few of us have that much power . wow I think we should run for president the reason why I wont go to or watch any race at that track is what was done to tavo .those who own it dont deserve it and as soon as they are gone I may come up and watch a race ..that is the only track I would love to see go down the tubes in order to get rid of those dipsticks now if I have the power to help that happen count me in that would be amazing to me . .any other track in texas I never want to see shut down . i have supported tracks for over 56 years .built cars raced cars work on the walls stands and other areas of the track or showed up in the stands but that does not mean I have to like everything about em and keep my mouth shut .

Edited by HiTech

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Pretty easy to see why noone want to open a track around here.

YEP. LOL!

I guess neither of you have an issue with a well-funded group of business men basically stealing the spoils of someone else's hard work......THEN banning them from the venue entirely......Oh that's right you both think segment wrecking is exciting racing....My bad!

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Politics of it all aside, Gossage comes across like a scared, threatened kid.

Rob, TMS and COTA have been at each others throats for some time, due to scheduling snafu's and state entertainment funding, to name a couple....I think Eddie is more fed up with COTA than anything....

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Politics of it all aside, Gossage comes across like a scared, threatened kid.

Rob, TMS and COTA have been at each others throats for some time, due to scheduling snafu's and state entertainment funding, to name a couple....I think Eddie is more fed up with COTA than anything....
Understood. I don't mean he IS scared, he just comes across being very defensive when you take the article att face value. If that is just frustration, ok. I think he would have been better served saying "Good luck with that" and going on his way.

 

It is a tough business, I agree with that. And COTA, from what I know, has acted amateurish from the day Tavo was removed.

 

The reality is TMS's biggest race weekends are the NASCAR and Indycar races. Both of these series are in some tough times to say the least. And if one of them is considering a move to COTA, well, that may be a problem for TMS. So, I think Gossage was speaking to Brian France through the press as well. "We have contracts" is an example.

Edited by PAPosse

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And COTA, from what I know, has acted amateurish from the day Tavo was removed.

Don't forget Kevin Schwanz with the MotoGP deal too....Same song, second verse...

 

This is why COTA/McCombs/Epstien/et.al. will NEVER, EVER, see a dime of my money.....

 

If the states entertainment funding coffers keep chopping off pieces of COTA's pie, they'll be the ones with "a problem"....LOL

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True enough - I think the Moto GP deal happened after I moved. I don't remember the details. I understand the dislike for COTA. And they are fighting for survival - you reap what you sow. I think I read that somewhere.

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They should drop one race at TMS and move it to COTA. If you added up the fans from both TMS races, you might fill the stands. It's the same race anyway....just different times of the year.

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