Eddie Gossage, the former president of Texas Motor Speedway, has died. He was 65.

Speedway Motorsports shared the news Thursday night on behalf of the Gossage family.

“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.”

Gossage spent 25 years at Texas Motor Speedway after first being named its general manager in 1995 by Bruton Smith. The track held its first NASCAR race in 1997, and Gossage was appointed president in 2004. He retired from the position after the NASCAR All-Star Race was held at the facility in June 2021.

A Nashville native, Gossage was employed by Speedway Motorsports for 32 years after being taken under Bruton Smith’s wing. Gossage joined the company in 1989 from previous management and public relations roles at Nashville International Raceway, Bristol International Raceway and Miller Brewing Company.

“I’ve worked since I was in the sixth grade,” Gossage told RACER in 2021. “I’ve been in racing in Cup and IndyCar for 42 seasons. I’m looking forward to doing nothing and hanging out with my grandkids. No matter how much time I spend with my grandkids, it’s never enough. I want more. They entertain me and they’re fun andthey’re smart. It’s just an awesome experience.

“But the thing about this place is that since that (first) phone call, it’s been 24/7. I’ve been 110% committed. There’s been nothing else, unfortunately, in my life, really, except do this. Even when I’m not here, you’re thinking about it.”

Under Gossage’s watchful and creative eye, Texas Motor Speedway expanded to host not just NASCAR events but the NTT IndyCar Series and World of Outlaws. The facility was also used for car shows and concerts. In 2015, ‘Big Hoss,’ a 22,704 square-foot television screen, was built on the backstretch.

Gossage was about bringing entertainment to the racing world, and he wasn’t afraid to be different. Showman. Old-school. Big ego. Those are just some of the descriptions that would be thrown Gossage’s way.

“Maybe I’m not as smart as others, so I got to work harder,” Gossage continued in his 2021 conversation with RACER. “I’ve never felt like I was a smart guy. I felt like I had tons of common sense, way more than most people. Common sense isn’t common, but I’ve always felt like if I thought about things long enough, I could figure it out.”

In the years since his retirement, Gossage became more engaging and vocal on social media. Gossage would interact with fans about racing and share opinions that might rub some the wrong way, but he stayed true to himself and his convictions.

“I’m happy,” Gossage said in 2021 to RACER. “I’m going to do the grandkids thing and the family thing, ride my motorcycle and not lose sleep. That’ll be fun. But I’ll still be watching races on Sunday. That’ll be for sure.”