Brian France comments on current NASCAR issues

Monday, July 27th on "Sirius Speedway" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, who called in to the show unannounced.

Host, Dave Moody: "Nice surprise. We weren't expecting you today."
Brian France: "Well, I listen to you guys, like most of the NASCAR community does, frequently and I love just calling in once in awhile to check in and say hello. And, obviously, we had a lot of exciting things happen over the weekend so it's good to be with you."

On Juan Pablo Montoya's pit road speeding penalty Sunday at Indianapolis:
Brian France: "There's nothing that dropped our hearts more than to see that speeding violation flash up on the computer which is in the television booth which is in our booth. Everybody has access to it, which they should. And it is what it is. It's sort of like a team that's dominated a football game or something and they step out of bounds on the crucial play that would have gotten them in the end zone. That's just the way it is. Now, that's the bad news for Juan Pablo and Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates. The good news is they're going to be a contender, I think as it's turning out, for the whole thing. I think they're going to make the Chase. At least that's how they're running. But nothing would have made us happier had he earned – and he definitely had the best car and he was driving the wheels off it to have had Montoya win that race and made a little history with the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400. But the rules are rules."

On the Jeremy Mayfield situation:
France: "Where we are is we're going through the process of the legal system, which was not our choice but we will deal with that. And we have not made any comments at all other than, 'We're pleased with the ruling,' or something like that since I went on back around the Coke Zero 400 and discussed our policy, and I didn't discuss that particular ruling. The judge has respectfully done what he needed to do and the appellate court has done what they need to do. That's just really in the hands of the courts. We wish everybody well. As anything, you can appreciate that we have to defend our policy but we're zeroed in on running great events and that's where we are."

Host, Dave Moody: "Is it frustrating that the racing has been so good and the Race for the Chase has been so captivating and yet people like me spend a lot of our time here lately talking about methamphetamine and urine tests and things that we never really had to know that much about before?"
France: "Well, sure, it's a distraction for everybody. Our preference is to never have anybody test positive for anything and the world would be perfect, right? That would be our best case scenario. But random tests pick up what they pick up and we'll deal with the rest of it, if there's ever a rest of it, like we are in this situation. It is unfortunate but on the other hand we understand that it is important. It's important for the other competitors to recognize that they're in a safe environment as much as humanly possible. And it's important to have a policy that works for everyone, not just a few people. So we understand the kind of reviews that go on when these topics hit at a high level but, look, I think at this point we just have to go down the legal process. We're dealing with that. That's really not anything that affects anything on the racetrack today. And, actually, we wish, I wish, anybody who has an issue the best. I mean, look, we're all at the end of the day human so we're pulling for anybody that has some issue, even somebody who is battling with us. In the end, we want to see people get better, rejoin the program and race clean in front and put their best foot forward. That's our goal."

On the new double-file restarts:
France: "The net of it is the drivers – beginning, middle, late in the race – it has really, really put people in contention that would typically, under the old format, would have had a tough time passing lapped cars and battling for the lead. I mean, Chicago was electric [with] what happened in that whole situation, having Denny Hamlin, as an example, who got an opportunity to mix it up. In the old situation he would have been too far back to even be a contender for that race win. You bet. And, look, the fans really, really weighed in before we did that and the drivers, in our town hall meeting, recognized that there were some definite challenges for them and we've tried to help them with them with respect to letting them pick a lane and so on. They realized that this as going to create a different dynamic but they're also very, very supportive and we're getting a great result. The racing's never been better in a long time."

Leave a Reply