On Wednesday (July 25), NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France made an unannounced call into SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Tradin’ Paint with Jim Noble and Chocolate Myers to talk about the current state of NASCAR. According to France, things are changing, but still pretty good.
France believes that the sport is currently facing the same challenges that every other sport is at the moment.
When asked on what he is focused on the most at the moment, France stated that he wants to see all of NASCAR’s stakeholders satisfied. He claims that the challenges NASCAR is currently facing are no different from any other league. His challenges are no different than that of Adam Silver (NBA Commissioner), Gary Bettman (NHL Commissioner), or Roget Goodell (NFL Commissioner).
One of the more recent rumors flying around in NASCAR is that the France family is considering a full or partial sale of NASCAR. France, at least temporarily, put the kibosh on that.
“We’re focused on growing and managing NASCAR,” France said. “The France family is locked and loaded in their dedication to NASCAR.”
France also referenced the whole notion of NASCAR being sold as nothing more than a rumor. These remarks are France’s first comments on the story that Reuters put out back in May.
In regards to the current physicality on the track, France is unilaterally in support of it. He had to stop himself from calling it “Quintessential NASCAR,” but stated that it is part of the sport. He does recognize that the allowance of intentional contact in order to gain positions does put NASCAR at odds with most major sanctioning bodies. A move such as what Kevin Harvick put on Kyle Busch Sunday, or what Busch put on Kyle Larson a couple of weeks ago would often result in penalties in other series.
Despite a number of sponsors (most notably Lowe’s and 5-Hour ENERGY) choosing to leave the sport in recent years, France is still bullish. He touted the long list of companies that are currently involved in NASCAR, a number that he claims is more than anyone in motorsports and any other major sport in the United States. However, those companies in recent years have been cutting the number of races that they have been covering with their sponsorship, leaving teams to have to attract additional sponsorship to make up the difference.
France was asked about the possibility of XFINITY and/or Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Eldora Speedway on the dirt. France simply stated that Stewart “…is probably not going to have that phone call anytime soon. The schedule is pretty full.”
Speaking of the schedule, there may be changes down the line. France seems to be up on the racing that NASCAR provides on road courses, stating that NASCAR has “the best road racing show in town.” What the schedule would look like with more road racing is unclear.
The main takeaway appears to be that NASCAR is still in a good place, according to France. The fact that France doesn’t make public appearances or speak all that often is news by itself.