Race Weekend Central

Brian France Press Conference Defensive On Trump, State Of NASCAR

On Sunday morning at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France addressed the assembled media for the first time in months.  It was a rather contentious affair as media members asked France direct questions about the health of the sport.  France appeared to be visibly sweating through much of the conference; the physical appearance matched the intensity of the questions.

Through it all, a clear theme was addressed by France: Everything is going great. The sport is fine. Don’t worry about it.

Case in point: in response to the lack of a title sponsor to replace Sprint and the ongoing charter situation, he voiced the notion that everything is right on track.

“[The entitlement sponsor search] has taken a little longer than I thought, but it’s also a big agreement and an important agreement [for the sport],” France said.  “It’s not just dollars and cents, but it’s the fit for us.  We’re in a good spot with that, I believe, but we’ll have to see how it finally plays out.”

On other hot topics, like his endorsement of Donald Trump during the general election France was quick to get defensive. On the heels of Daniel Suarez winning the XFINITY title,

In regards to the health of the teams competing in NASCAR, France took a hands-off position.

“You [have] teams that compete at a high level and do well,” France stated.  “You have some teams that for whatever the reasons can’t compete at such a high level, and they have some problems.  That’s throughout our history.  Not abnormal at all.”

Such a statement did not necessarily go over all that well with some drivers and teams.  Camping World Truck Series regular Tommy Joe Martins is not necessarily onboard with France’s outlook on teams.

Martins continued on to state that France’s ideas about race teams are not necessarily beneficial to teams that aren’t at the top of the sport.

Others, like part-time XFINITY Series racer/K&N Pro Series co-car owner Justin Marks, are actually worried about the future of NASCAR and are unsure if France is the right person to take NASCAR into the future.

France did refuse to answer a question posed about his support of President-elect Donald Trump rather forcefully.  Afterwards, France shifted to touting NASCAR’s commitment to diversity.

“Nobody wants to hear my political views,” France stated.  “Not one person on this stage wants to hear from me politically.  So, I won’t be talking about that.

About the author

2021 Phil Allaway Headshot Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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