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Legendary NASCAR, IndyCar promoter Eddie Gossage dead at 65

He was the general manager of Texas Motor Speedway for its first 25 years

NASCAR: AAA Texas 500-Practice
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Legendary motorsports promoter and longtime Speedway Motorsports track executive Eddie Gossage has died at the age of 65.

“Today we have lost one of the world’s biggest race fans,” said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. “From his legendary promotions to the lasting relationships he developed throughout the sports and entertainment industries, Eddie Gossage meant so much to the world of motorsports. On behalf of our Speedway Motorsports teammates across the country, our hearts go out to his many friends and his beloved family.

“We are praying for his wife, Melinda, daughter Jessica, son Dustin and daughter-in-law Lauren during this trying time as well as his grandchildren Lyra, Evelyn and Oliver. We know the children were the light of his life.

“Eddie’s career spanned 32 years promoting major events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and supporting my father, Bruton, with the iconic showplace that is Texas Motor Speedway,” Smith added. “His impact in our sport will be felt for many years to come. We repeat one of Eddie’s favorite sayings often. ‘If we don’t make a big deal out of it, nobody else will.’ He lived that mantra every day at work developing creative publicity stunts, pre-race shows and over-the-top entertainment.”

Gossage’s passing comes on the 40th anniversary of NASCAR’s All Star Race, an event he first promoted while working at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992, the memorable ‘One Hot Night.’

Professionally, he was the protege of Speedway Motorsports Chairman and Founder Bruton Smith and CMS President and General Manager Humpy Wheeler, which led to him becoming the first general manager of Texas Motor Speedway, which he helmed from 1996 to 2021, when he retired from the sport.

Since then, he had spent most of his time with his family and occasional motivational speaker gigs in Texas, where he never left after his retirement.

He was a big personality, whose promotional style reflected the Texan mantra, that everything was bigger in the Lone Star State.

“Eddie Gossage was a trailblazer, promoter and innovator at a time when attracting attention was critical as Speedway Motorsports expanded NASCAR into the Lone Star State,” said Texas Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark Faber. “Each day I come to work, I see the impact he had throughout our property. Eddie laid a foundation for success to build upon for generations to come and made Texas Motor Speedway a showplace of which Texans will always be proud.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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