Gossage on the retirement of Richard Petty: “I mean, we truly thought that the sport might come to a crashing halt in 1992.”
In recent years, the sport of NASCAR has been changing at a rapid rate. Now only the format, bringing a new style of racing. But, also the faces in the sport.
Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle and others have all left the sport in recent years. It’s a transitional period leaving gaps that are currently being filled as well speak.
“Yeah, we all know there’s a big transition going on in our sport. We’ve got some big ones here with Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney,” Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage explains in a press conference at the speedway.
“Having been around this sport, for a long time — There was a time where we didn’t know how we were going to survive the pending departure of Richard Petty and David Pearson and Bobby Allison and drivers of that nature.”
“I mean, we truly thought that the sport might come to a crashing halt in 1992.”
Richard Petty ran his last race on November 15, 1992 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That was the last race of the 1992 season, Petty finished 35th after a crash.
That race was also the very first race for Jeff Gordon. Gordon finished 31st, he was also involved in a crash.
“What happened is, Jeff Gordon comes along. And others like Jeff, Jimmie and so forth.”
In 1995, Jeff Gordon won 7 races. he was crowned the NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion and a star was born.
“That’s what we’re seeing here. It’s just a bit more magnified because it seems to have all happened in a couple 2-3 seasons.”
“But, there’s so much talent, such great personalties. That, I think the fans are going to quickly identify with. I’m excited about it. To me, it’s a brand new lease on life.”
As the veterans have departed, the gates have opened for new stars. Some of the those breakout names include; Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott. Both of which are at the Texas Motor Speedway tire test today.