In the 14 years since Brian France took over as Chairman and CEO of NASCAR, he has introduced several major changes to the most popular racing series in the U.S. Those changes include the introduction of the SAFER Barrier, the charter-based ownership model, and the construction of four unique playoff structures, as well as negotiating the $8.2 billion, 10-year television deal the sport currently has with NBC and Fox Sports.
However, with ratings down across the board and several big-name drivers leaving or possibly leaving the sport–we’re looking at you, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick. France decided it was time for him to speak up and calm the nerves of many anxious NASCAR fans, which is exactly what he did when he called into the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint” show on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t worry about that for one minute if I were a fan because it just works itself out,” France told hosts Jim Noble and Chocolate Myers. “We will make good decisions and the teams are working very closely with us to take any shortcomings out of the system and figure it out. I wouldn’t worry about that for a minute if I were a fan. I am a fan.”
France also said during the interview that NASCAR is looking for ways to reduce costs for teams while still allowing them to compete at a high level. In addition, France admitted NASCAR is in talks with two manufacturers that have interest in joining the sport, but France said NASCAR would ideally only like to add one to compete with the three companies presently involved in NASCAR, which are Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota.
Another interesting tidbit that came from Wednesday’s interview was NASCAR is actively looking for sponsorship for both Bubba Wallace and Danica Patrick, according to a report by Motor Week.
“We get involved all the time with sponsorship arrangements with individual teams,” France said. “That’s not inconsistent with what we do. As far as those two drivers, of course we would like to see both of them have a real good opportunity. We can’t control all of that.”
The only topic that seemingly wasn’t discussed during France’s interview with “Tradin Paint” was the business side of the sport. France said he doesn’t like to touch that subject during interviews with the media because it takes attention away from the drivers and what they are actually doing on the track.