Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Heartland: Leader Has Spoken, Product Doing Well!

If you thought the above headline sounded a bit broken up or choppy, I will assure you now that there is good reason for it. It is to get you ready for what you are about to read and most likely, totally fail to understand. Yes, that’s right, Brian France recently graced the public by crawling out from whatever it is that he hides under or in and, of course, everything is just swell.

Let’s warm up with an excerpt from his opening statement.

BRIAN FRANCE: I’ll just get started real quick. I know we’re all short on time. As you know, from time to time I will take some questions for the record and elsewhere, and today is one of those days.

Obviously I’m not sure we can be any more pleased with how the Chase is unfolding, and frankly how the season has unfolded, with the level of competition, the closeness in the Chase, some of the moves that we made, the wildcard being one, and streamlining and simplifying the points system being another, to make it easier for people to understand how you qualify and of course add some additional drama. It’s done all of that, and if you look back, those were at the time viewed as small moves that we made, but they’re actually having a really big impact, and that’s terrific.

Short on time? Whatever else in the world would this man have to do? Has the France family finally realized that it is not flattering for him to speak in public and has put him on a short leash? Perhaps he slipped out of his padded office while no one was looking by feigning sleep on his nap mat? At any rate, we should all be grateful that he is here to answer our questions ‘for the record and elsewhere’. (Just where IS elsewhere, anyway? Perhaps he was talking about this column!)

As for their groundbreaking changes, trust me, NASCAR ‘wildcards’ Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski are no St. Louis Cardinals. (OK, maybe I’m being a little hard on Brad, but still) When it comes to simplifying the points system ‘to make it easier for people to understand how you qualify and of course add some additional drama’, does France even have a clue as to what he is saying?

The additional drama must be the fact that under the old system, Carl Edwards would be out distancing the rest of the field by an almost insurmountable four points instead of the one point margin he now enjoys.

My wish is that Edwards wins the championship overall, but does it not by winning anymore races, but by finishing just high enough to maintain his lead. What would that accomplish? Well, it would give us another NASCAR champion with just one win for the season and then … but wait! Didn’t Matt Kenseth do that back in ’03? Isn’t that why Brian created the Chase in the first place, so that would never happen again? Oh my! What a pickle that would create!

Here’s Brian on the recent (and planned) renovations to the Kansas Speedway and possible future night races there:

BRIAN FRANCE: Well, I’m sure that that will be a consideration, a fan favorite typically. You’ve got weather concerns in this area; being a particularly warm October I’m told but may be not indicative of how it usually is. But look, this whole facility and the surrounding developments are impressive, as impressive as any place that we go, and how fast they’re coming on line.

I’m going to take a tour of the casino here after the drivers’ meeting. The soccer stadium is beautiful; it’s very additive to the complex here. So yeah, and they continue to take good care of their fans. It’s nice to see this track now hosting two events, two Cup events, and doing a great job with it.

A new soccer stadium? Must be part of NASCAR’s diversity plan. Lure them in or near with what foreigners mistakenly think is football! As for the casino, well, we learned all about that here in this space last week, now didn’t we? Good to see Brian is looking out for the family interests. Speaking of ‘family interests’, France was asked about his divorce lawyer.

BRIAN FRANCE: Well, relationship is very good. It’s a program that’s worked extremely well for them. They would, I think, tell you that. We’re in a time when we’re having those kind of discussions about extending the relationship. My hope is that we will. That’s always a goal when we have a really good incumbent sponsor who’s done such a good job. You obviously want to extend the relationship if you can.

Sorry! My bad! I guess he was talking about Sprint. After reading his response, you can understand my confusion. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of confusion, try this on for size. (In the interest of fairness, I must say that I’m not even sure what the next question was about. I think it was about the possibility of having some other types of motorsport ‘companion events’ during future NASCAR weekends so I will post the question along with Brian’s answer as per the official transcript.)

Q. Are you looking at Nationwide? Are you looking perhaps at Cup in 2012, 2013? Are you looking to – what are your talks there? Are they coming to you, are you going to them?

BRIAN FRANCE: We are having conversations. We have conversations at one level or another with all the major motorsports facilities, and they’re no different. Remember, we’ve got Grand American Road Racing. We’re arguably the best road racing product in this country.

When you look at how these events play out at Sears Point, Watkins Glen, I mean, by all accounts, there’s not a better road course show in this country for sure. Now, that said, obviously we’re not talking – the cup is full and all those things, we’re not having those conversations, but we have a lot of motorsports products, so we are speaking to them.

Amazing! In the space of one paragraph, we have, in order… ‘We are having conversations. We have conversations at one level or another’ to ‘Now, that said, obviously we’re not talking – we’re not having those conversations, so we are speaking to them.’

Yeah, me too! I’ve read it a hundred times and I’m still not sure who is talking to whom or even if anyone is talking at all!

I will say this though, even though he never makes any sense, I’m glad Brian keeps flapping his lips from time to time. Sure makes my job a lot more fun! Thanks Brian.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share this article

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com