State legislators in Texas would like to see the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship decided at the Texas Motor Speedway, and it might not be a bad move.
Last week, the Texas State Legislature passed a bill that makes a proverbial championship race at Texas Motor Speedway, or the Monster Energy All-Star Race eligible for the state’s Major Events Reimbursement Program. The program is used to help lure big events to the Lonestar state, such as the Super Bowl or the NCAA Final Four.
“They want to be able to go after those races, just like we try to court a Super Bowl or any other major sporting event,” Rep. Tan Parker, a Republican who represents the district Texas Motor Speedway is in, said in an Associated Press report. “They will immediately go after them as best they can, and this gives them a tool in their tool box to be aggressive when competing with other venues.”
The Cup Series championship race has been held at Homestead-Miami Speedway every year since 2002, but once in awhile, rumors circulate about the finale being moved. Recently, there has been speculation about the event moving to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but it will remain in Homestead at least through the 2018 season.
However, if NASCAR does have intentions to move the finale elsewhere, Texas should be considered. While the 1.5-mile oval might not produce the most exciting racing, the old saying “everything is bigger in Texas” might be right for a championship race in the Lone Star State.
The main reason I would like to see the finale in Texas is due to speedway promoter Eddie Gossage.
Gossage, who worked under Humpy Wheeler before assuming his role at Texas Motor Speedway when it opened in 1997, is known for bold advertising campaigns, spectacular pre-race shows and generating buzz. And I, for one, would love to see what Gossage could do if he was gifted the opportunity to promote the championship race.
The racing may be procedural at Texas Motor Speedway, but the track is not much different to Atlanta Motor Speedway, which held the finale through 2001, and it is the same length as Homestead-Miami Speedway. Despite being derided as “cookie cutters” by fans, holding the finale at an intermediate track makes logical sense since much of the schedule consists of those circuits.
Having the finale at a short track, road course or restrictor plate track would create a more entertaining race, but it would also be like holding the Stanley Cup Finals on a basketball court or the NBA Finals on a hockey rink. The championship event, whether it remains at one venue or alternates like the Super Bowl, should be held at a track that resembles what is raced on throughout the majority of the season.
The Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) market has become one of America’s great sports towns and NASCAR racing has been a part of that. They have hosted the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four and the College Football championship game. NASCAR should be next.
Let Eddie Gossage have his fun, because it might be entertaining for all of us.
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