In the 10 years that I have been doing this gig, there is one interview that I would give my left lug nut to be able to do, and that is a one-on-one with Brian France. No one else in the room – just me and him, him and I, man to man, common sense guy vs. no obvious common sense guy, just to see for myself.
See what for myself, you ask? Well, for starters, is he the same gibberish-speaking, hard-to-follow speaker in real life as he appears to be in public, a decision on which I could make within the first three minutes of us being alone, I’d bet?
Of course it will probably never happen, but if it does, I’m ready – and I’d even start out with a few easy questions just to get a feel for his sense of reality. Questions that have been scientifically formed, the answers to which will provide an in-depth view as to if the man is in any way tuned into the general populace – you know, the ones that have lined his pockets for many many years.
What is the general price of a gallon of gas locally?
About how much does a gallon of milk cost at the local supermarket?
How much does a fifth of your favorite rum cost?
Boxers or briefs?
What is the boiling temperature of water at sea level?
How many stars and how many stripes are on the US flag?
As I said, those few warmup questions should provide a good base line as to if we are dealing with a real person or a man more akin to a federal politician. Of course, there is always the possibility that I would end the interview then and there and head off in search of a stiff drink. Let’s assume for a moment that, in a sudden fit of optimism on my part, I continue the interview and get down to some general state of NASCAR queries.
OK, more questions, like:
Overall, would you say that you are proud of what NASCAR has evolved into under your tenure at the helm?
To what do you attribute the apathy that millions of once-fiercely loyal fans now feel toward the sport?
Do you see the thousands of empty seats at any given track on any given weekend?
Do you understand the basic concept of a race, be it in a car or on foot?
Do you regret using the term “casual fan” or are you proud of the number you have created?
How many lugnuts are on a wheel of a standard NASCAR race car? (Again, this could be a interview-ending question should he waffle or get it wrong)
When it comes to the direction that NASCAR has taken under your leadership, have you ever made a wrong decision?
In your eyes, have you ever been wrong?
How do you justify that a man like Denny Hamlin, a racer that would not even be in the top 12 under last year’s Chase rules and currently in 14th place (using current points system but no Chase) should have the right to possibly be this year’s champion?
Do you think, as is possible with Ryan Newman, that a driver who never won a race all year should be the series champion?
Do you ever just dress down and go out incognito among the fans at any of the few races you actually attend during the year?
Do you think you could learn anything valuable about what the common fan thinks of the sport nowadays if you did?
Are you ready to admit that the wing was a bad idea and actually did cause the cars to become airborne when going backward at speed?
Folks, I could go on – and I’m sure I would if this dream interview were to ever happen. I’m sure that the answers would provide even more questions to ask, mainly in the form of. “WTF?”and/or “Are you frickin’ kidding me?” To be brutally honest, my head would probably simply explode in a burst of red stickiness if I were ever to be granted this interview, so I should probably be careful what I wish for.
In other notable NASCAR news, our sport has drawn even closer to being on par with the NFL!
Not even a month ago I wrote the following passage: “…we all know the NFL is full of wife/girlfriend beaters, child abusers, murderers and dog fighters. What does NASCAR have? The odd druggie now and then, a cheater here or there, a few idiots in general, owners that have either done time or been pardoned – and, now, Brad Keselowski. But hey, the NFL has way more players than NASCAR so I guess in the end, percentage wise, it may even out.”
As of on cue, Kurt Busch is being investigated for domestic violence.
While this columnist is in no way, shape or form advocating domestic violence, I’ve got to be honest with you: if I would have made a short list of say, three drivers who’d be least of a surprise if they ran into this conundrum, Kurt Busch would have been at the top of that list. Way to help with the NASCAR vs. NFL percentages, Kurt.
Oh, don’t lie to me. You ain’t surprised either!
Stay off the wall (but let me hear your questions for Brian France, just in case),