Texas Motor Speedway president/general Eddie Gossage took to the Dallas/Fort Worth airwaves yesterday to talk up tonight’s NRA 500 at his 1.5-mile oval, but he also responded to a statement made by NASCAR spokesman David Higdon on the series looking at analyzing future sponsorship pacts.
“I would tell you about Mr. Higdon, I take it that he’s new to the sport and doesn’t quite understand how it all works,” Gossage said to Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Randy Galloway on the latter’s KESN-FM radio show.
“He could have just as easily put out a quote that said, ‘C.Y.A.’ [cover your ass]. That’s what that is, and it’s a PR mistake to have made that statement, and I think they should have had a little more — they should have conferred with other folks before they issued that. I think they probably wish they hadn’t [issued the statement].”
Yesterday, Higdon said that while the track’s race sponsorship deal with the National Rifle Association “fit within existing parameters,” he also said that the series would take a closer look in the future at potential backers. NASCAR reserves the right to approve or nix any sponsorship agreements between the tracks and the organizations.
Gossage has continually maintained that complaints lodged toward his track over the NRA’s sponsorship have been minimal. However, the series and its teams and drivers appear keen on minimizing potential fallout.
On that note, sources have told ESPN that two drivers have been advised by their public relations directors to not do interviews inside the TMS media center in order to avoid being seen with the NRA’s logo behind them.