By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had some choice words for Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage – and the horse he rode in on.
In fact, Earnhardt’s choice words were expressions of gratitude for thoughtful gifts to the driver of the No. 88 in anticipation of his last appearance at TMS in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Bedecked in a lighted cowboy suit and hat, Gossage – NASCAR’s own Rhinestone Cowboy – pranced into the TMS Media center atop a horse to deliver news of the largesse to Earnhardt.
The speedway is sponsoring a horse called “Chevy” in Earnhardt’s name at Victory Therapy Center, a ranch that specializes in help for persons with disabilities. Gossage also presented Earnhardt with the lighted top section of the scoring pylon from Earnhardt’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory at Texas in April 2000.
“Texas has been so awesome to me,” Earnhardt said. “My wife Amy, she’s from Texas. I got a whole other family down here. That is a big, big bonus of being married to her. We spent all week with them, with her sister and her husband. So Texas is a place that is almost like a second home.
“I find I love more and more about it the more time I spend here. But the track… there’s nothing really unique about the place other than Eddie, (who) has been amazing as far as a promoter. The things that he does… he is always kind of pushing the envelope. And he means well, I have learned.
“Sometimes I have wondered, but I know he’s just trying to do a job and take advantage of his opportunities, and he has to deliver, and so he does what he needs to do to deliver. It reminds me of some of the older style promoters that we used to have. A lot more flamboyant and creative.”