As you guys have probably figured out, I'm not a big fan of NASCAR the sport. But I dig NASCAR the scene.
During this weekend's annual spring visit to Fort Worth -- capped by Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 -- there will be female roller derby, pig races, white trash, blue collars, red necks, more than 500,000 fans and, out on the track, cars swappin' paint at close to 200 mph.
Amazingly, there's only one ringmaster orchestrating the whole circus -- a P.T. Barnum who recently almost died from cancer. Whether you like fast cars or TMS' thousands of fast women, you've got to appreciate the marketing genius of Eddie Gossage, who's the subject of this week's Observer cover story.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
In it, I attempt to tell Gossage's tale. Sat down with him at the Daytona 500 back in February and spent considerable time talking to his friends, family and foes.
He's one of our area's most public figures. And, for the first time, he gives us the details into his most private ordeal, which started, fittingly, on the infield of TMS. From my story:
Tickets were selling, sponsors were spending, drivers were smiling, and customers were swaying and singing.
But Eddie Gossage couldn't feel his feet.
"It felt like I was standing on ice," Gossage says. "I was basically numb. If you would have cut off my toes I would have never known it. The only sensation I had was like tiny pins and needles in my feet. And I felt sick to my stomach."
In the end, Gossage kicked cancer's ass. Now he's trying to save NASCAR in North Texas.