Even with rain delay, Duck Commander 500 sets numerous souvenir sales marks for Texas Motor Speedway

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If you see Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage walking around with a noticeable waddle and he keeps quacking, there’s no need for concern.

While some critics questioned the wisdom of naming this past weekend’s Sprint Cup race the Duck Commander 500, Gossage is laughing at those same critics all the way to the bank.

TMS issued a media release Thursday that Duck Commander-branded merchandise sold at the track this past weekend, as well as online, set several sales records for the track.

Although actual monetary and sales amounts were not released, check out some of these numbers:

* The overall weekend, even with Sunday’s race being delayed to Monday, was one of the highest grossing race weekends in the track’s 18-year history.

* Speedway World, the standalone souvenir store located just outside turn 2, reported its best race week sales total since 2000. And, parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. Properties enjoyed its best overall event sales total since April’s Samsung Mobile 500 in April 2009.

* A Duck Commander 500 trailer, specially designed and wrapped for this event, was located at Texas Motor Speedway’s main gate entrance and accounted for 14.6 percent of the total sales.

* Online sales were more than 900 percent higher than a typical NASCAR race weekend.

* The revenue total, although not released, was up 81 percent from last year’s April NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 doubleheader weekend.

The hottest-selling items were Duck Commander 500 camouflage caps, camo t-shirts, total print t-shirts, feather flags, legacy t-shirts, splash-down t-shirts, koozies and bandanas.

Given the record-setting numbers this past weekend, one must wonder what TMS does for an encore.

Bring back the Robertson family and Duck Commander for two more years, that’s what.

(Can we refer to the next two years as Duck Commander 2.0 and 3.0?)

The track will also continue selling Duck gear at its June 5-7 IndyCar weekend, as well as the Oct. 30-Nov. 2 Chase for the Sprint Cup weekend event.

If you missed your chance to get in on some of the merchandise, get quacking and go to www.GoSpeedwayWorld.com.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Hamilton hails ‘greatest day’ after USGP victory, Mercedes title win

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Lewis Hamilton made no secret of his jubilation after taking a giant step towards his fourth Formula 1 championship win with victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix that also saw Mercedes clinch the constructors’ title.

Hamilton recovered from an early pass by F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to take his sixth victory on American soil, five of which have come at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, to extend his lead to 66 points.

With just 75 left on offer this season, Hamilton needs just one top-five finish in the final three races to clinch his fourth world title, with the enormity of the victory not being lost on the Mercedes driver.

“Today has been amazing. It’s been the greatest day,” Hamilton told NBCSN after the race.

“I woke up a bit tired, felt the rain, then was like, ‘What the hell?’ But I didn’t mind. I won here in the rain in the past. Then it dried up, clear blue skies, amazing opening at the beginning of the GP.

“I lost first place into Turn 1. It was OK. That first section, we got through there, and it felt very reminiscent of 2012: ‘Game on. You have to save the tires’, and he wasn’t doing that. I kind of kept my cool.”

“I saw I got a good exit of Turn 1, this was the lap and it was. His tires were dropping off anyway.”

Hamilton’s victory saw Mercedes wrap up its fourth consecutive F1 constructors’ title with three races to spare, with the Briton having played a key part in each of its successes.

“I’m so proud of this team. Big congratulations to the guys, people don’t know the amount of work they do,” Hamilton said.

“It’s over 1,500 people in two factories, so much brainpower and a lot of people to manage to extract the best from each of those.

“To come into a new era of car and perform as we have. There’s been a newfound love within the team. Ferrari, we want to beat them, thrash them.

“So they put more hours of working in to do that. That’s for all their hard work.”