France trying to protect NASCAR dictatorship

NASCAR Chairman Brian France doesn’t see the need for the Race Team Alliance, and he pledged Monday to continue to talk to all owners individually about their concerns.

Speaking on SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel Monday afternoon, France addressed the issue of the alliance, a group of nine Sprint Cup teams that recently announced they would work together to increase leverage of purchasing power for everything from common parts and pieces to travel.

Rob Kauffman, the group’s chairman, has said that the group, if asked, also could serve as a voice of the owners in discussions with NASCAR.

"When you hear ‘one voice,’ that would probably be the worst thing that we could ever do is to listen to one voice, even if it were a consensus voice," France said on the "SiriusXM Speedway" show. "Every decision that we’ve ever made that’s important, the more input the more people we heard from, the better the result.

"And so that will never change in the business model of NASCAR. Good ideas come from all over the place. That’s the strength that we’ve had."

The RTA expects to invite other teams that have attempted 95 percent of the races the last two years, but France didn’t seem too interested in talking to the RTA as a representative of the owners on any issue. He indicated the television contract split — 65 percent to the tracks, 25 percent to the teams through the purse and 10 percent to NASCAR — would remain the same in the 2015-2024 television deal.

"They’re set for historical reasons and because it’s the right allocation," France said. "Everybody would like to have more. … We’re business as usual.

"The tracks, Daytona Rising (grandstand project) being a good example, have made and continue to make big investments in their facilities and they’re going to need rely on the idea that it’s business as usual at NASCAR so they’ll continue to put their own capital at risk."

NASCAR has directed all correspondence with the RTA must come through attorneys, which France said was legal "mumbo jumbo" and that he would continue speaking to owners 1-on-1 directly.

"We’re going to down the road of dealing with all of the team owners — not most of them, not (just) the big ones, all of them," France said. "That’s the best outcome we can get. … The team owners, they all disagree on a lot of things because it’s not all black and white that if we go this way or that way that it will actually lower costs, it will actually improve racing.

"There are always disagreements. So the last thing we would want to do is not talk to everybody so we can understand where the truth lies or the best we can tell. That’s why a one voice is just a bad idea."

France didn’t seem to think the group will accomplish much.

"We didn’t think (this group) was necessary and we thought that the benefits that would arrive with this association would be much smaller than they do," France said. "But they’re smart guys.

"So they may figure out some things that we’re not aware of. … This is some of the brightest guys in business, so if they think if there are some real benefits, we may not agree but we’ll certainly respect them."

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