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DATE News (chronologically)
05/02/11
TV Newqs
NASCAR Chairman Brian France Visits ESPN
NASCAR Chairman Brian France Visits ESPN Brian France, chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR, visited ESPN on Monday and appeared on NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, and on SportsCenter.

On SportsCenter, France told anchor Kevin Negandhi that the sport has momentum.

“We started off with a really neat champion in the Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne, a young kid with an old team, so we had some neat storylines. Some of the drivers that had been struggling, like Jeff Gordon, have already won and they’ve put notice that they’re going to contend for the championship. Jimmie Johnson could do something historic and get to six, and then Dale Earnhardt Jr. is running well, he’s well within our playoff structure to make it, and he’s competing at a high level, so we see a lot of neat things going on right now.”

Some more quotes from France’s appearance on SportsCenter:

What does it mean to the sport of NASCAR when Dale Earnhardt Jr. is succeeding?

“He’s the biggest franchise in NASCAR. It would be great if he continues to figure out the chemistry of the team. He’s done that, and I think his confidence is finally back to where it was a few years ago. He went through a pretty good slump, so it’s nice to see him competing at a high level.”

Why do you think Jimmie Johnson doesn’t get enough credit?

“I don’t think that’s something he runs around trying to promote and figure out. I think he just puts his game face on and wins when he needs to win. He’s a great guy, he’s represented us well, and we’ll see what he does on (championship) No. 6.”

What’s your favorite thing when you go out to the track?

“The size of it, the huge crowds that file in, the energy level when the green flag comes out. It’s just a different feeling than perhaps any other sport.”

France later joined part of the one-hour Monday roundtable edition of NASCAR Now to discuss the sport with ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven, ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton, NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith and host Allen Bestwick.

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