Former Motorsports Promoter Eddie Gossage Passes Away

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

Longtime motorsports executive and public speaker Eddie Gossage passed away at the age of 65.

Long before his time at Speedway Motorsports, let alone Texas, Gossage served as the director of public relations at Nashville International Raceway (now known as Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville) in 1980. One year later he became the assistant general manager and director of public relations at Bristol International Raceway.

The businessman also worked for Miller Brewing Company from 1983 through 1989. During that time, they sponsored Mike Alexander and future NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison. It was Gossage who had to announce the injuries for both drivers in 1988.

Gossage was well known as the President of Texas Motor Speedway for 25 years from 1997 through 2021. Prior to heading the No Limits, TX track, the Nashville, TN native worked for Speedway Motorsports at Charlotte Motor Speedway under the tutelage of Humpy Wheeler and O. Bruton Smith.

“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.”

At Texas, the veteran of the motorsports industry weathered many controversies at the 1.5-mile track. From configurations that struggled immediately after construction to repaves, reconfigurations, splitting the track’s IndyCar race into two separate races in 2011, and traction compounds. However, the outspoken track president stayed true to his vision and pushed forward, even making calls to modernize his own track.

The larger-than-life personality often found ways to draw attention to his speedway, whether it was gifting Jeff Gordon a miniature horse on his retirement tour or promoting ‘boxing matches’ between on track rivals.

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