Thursday was Chase Media Day in Chicago, with all 16 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup available to meet with the media and talk about their prospects for winning a championship. Also on hand in the Windy City was NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France who sat down with FOXSports.com for an exclusive one-on-one interview. A few questions:
FOXSports.com: You've tweaked the Chase format numerous times; this one appears to be a winner. Will you stick with it for another few years?
France: I can't see anything that we would change. We've got everything we want, which is the ability to win and move on — an elimination format, which people can understand pretty easily. I would be very surprised if there's an idea that changed the Chase in any significant way.
FOXSports.com: What's been the biggest pleasant surprise of the year so far?
France: The continual adaptation to the lower downforce package. I was a little surprised by that. There were different views on that. We're all for whatever makes the racing tighter, closer and better. I think the teams have largely voiced their acceptance of that's the direction that we want to go. And the racing's been arguably better.
See more at Fox Sports.
France still believes the sanctioning body is on schedule to announce an entitlement sponsor for the Cup Series some time next month. "We're on schedule give a week or two here or there," France told Motorsport.com on Thursday. As for sponsors – or sponsor – France did not offer specifics other than to say it's shaping up to be just one for the entitlement. Although Kroger appeared to be one of the frontrunners mid-summer, the likelihood of other potential partners such as PayPal and Coca-Cola have been emerged as possibilities over the last month. Motorsport