We need to have a meeting, presidential debate-style, between Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage and Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
On Tuesday, Gossage said Formula 1's decision to race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on the same weekend as Texas Motor Speedway's fall race in 2014 was "foolish" and a statement towards NASCAR.
''I absolutely think it's foolish,'' Gossage told the AP. ''It's a shot fired by Formula One at NASCAR. I can't say I was surprised because (F1 CEO) Bernie Ecclestone does a lot of foolish things. The thing he unfortunately doesn't recognize is there is an 800-pound gorilla when it comes to major American motor sports. The 800-pound gorilla is NASCAR.''
Naturally, the always quotable Ecclestone responded to Gossage's comments when he was asked about them Wednesday. His main theme? The scope of Formula 1 compared to NASCAR.
"We've a small problem they (NASCAR) don't have - we have six jumbo jets to move around all our equipment, and we have to find the most sensible way to use them to do that," Ecclestone told BT Sport.
"We have to be efficient, and bear in mind we may also encounter problems at an airport."
Oh, and there was this too.
"I've also spoken to the people that run the race at COTA and their position is that they believe the NASCAR crowd is a different crowd to Formula One, different people, different customers," Ecclestone said.
"At the end of the day they run a domestic series in America - we run a world championship."
When addressing the point of audiences, we're inclined to agree with Ecclestone. We're not sure how much crossover there is between F1 and NASCAR. It's not the best example, but the opening of deer season has always been cited as a factor TMS has to compete against for its fall race. Do you ever think that Formula 1 would consider deer hunting to be a threat? (If you're now giggling envisioning Ecclestone dressed in either camo or bright orange and holding a hunting rifle, we don't blame you.)
Besides, last year's race at COTA went against the final NASCAR race of the season at Homestead and was run in the hours before the Sprint Cup race. You think people stayed home from the Formula 1 race because they wanted to see the culmination of the NASCAR season?
We understand Gossage's desire to be the only important motorsports event of the weekend in the state, and how F1 could be infringing on the turf that he's staked out over the years. But in a state like Texas -- remember, they'll tell you how big it is and how not to mess with it -- there's enough room for both series.
Which is why we need that debate. It'll bring F1 and NASCAR fans together and produce funnier moments than Rick Perry and Herman Cain ever could.
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- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Bernie Ecclestone
- Texas Motor Speedway