(AP Photo/Ray Carlin)
(AP) -- Eddie Gossage, an old-school promoter mentored by NASCAR's pioneers, will retire after 25 years as president of Texas Motor Speedway following next month's NASCAR All-Star Race.
Gossage has spent 32 years working for Speedway Motorsports and learned the art of selling tickets, packing grandstands and turning races into spectacles from company founder Bruton Smith and longtime executive Humpy Wheeler.
He was a young public relations director at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992 when, during a news conference to promote NASCAR's first nighttime All-Star race, one of his stunts literally set Smith's hair on fire. When Smith threw the giant light switch rigged by Gossage to highlight the Charlotte speedway's new lighting system, sparks flew.