Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NASCAR CEO Brian France speaks out

I had the opportunity Wednesday to spend about 20 minutes interviewing Brian France, NASCAR's chairman, about the state of the sport. We'll have a big story in Thursday's Charlotte Observer about this. (You'll also be able to access it on our excellent racing website -- thatsracin.com). (UPDATE: Full column now posted here.)

To whet your appetite, though, here's a taste of what France said in this exclusive interview in which he answered questions from myself and Mike Persinger, The Observer's executive sports editor:

-- France believes that David Pearson should have gotten in to the hall of fame’s first class.
“I thought David Pearson should have made it in,” France said. Pearson didn’t make it into the hall – which will open in Charlotte in May 2010 -- but France’s father and grandfather did (Bill France Jr. and Sr.), along with former drivers Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Junior Johnson. France wouldn’t divulge the other four names on his ballot, which was one of 51 cast.

-- NASCAR may have Danica Patrick running races in one of its series as early as February at Daytona. Although Patrick has not publicly made a commitment to stock-car racing, France said: “My sense is she probably will.”

-- The struggles of Dale Earnhardt Jr. are part of NASCAR’s current set of problems.
“It’s sort of like when the NBA doesn’t have the L.A. Lakers or Boston – a couple of their key historic franchises – in the race,” France said. “That impacts the league. We’re in the same boat.”
France then smiled and said that if Dale Jr. had a resurgence that “the world would be a better place.”

More to come in Thursday's newspaper and online.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The NASCAR world would be a better place if crew chiefs & crews worked on cars and drivers raced

J said...

Scott - kudos to you for sitting through 20 minutes of Brian France bloviating without having to upchuck.

Yeah, the world might be a better place if Jr. were doing well, but it would be a far, far better place if someone not named France would be running NASCAR. They care nothing about the sport; they only care about lining their own pockets and making sure you and I know that they are the bosses and what they say goes.

John said...

J,

Whatever else you can say about the France family... you should keep in mind that without the France family, there wouldn't have been a NASCAR at all!

JR-is-a-joke said...

NASCAR is soon to be in the same mode as Roller Derby. DEAD. The racing SUCKS OUT LOUD. The rules change depending on who broke them and how much his sponser means to NASCAR. Jr. is a product of the media, he has proven again and again he can't drive when given equal equipment. Watch out for France and his bunch, I promise you that they will find a way to give little E a few wins next year. As he said, it is the best thing for a dying sport, so bet on it!

Anonymous said...

It seems that the majority of Scott's columns have nothing to do with the Panthers. Why are they posted on the Panthers' page?