It’s a sad but true state of affairs that all the good that was done for NASCAR with Chase Elliott’s victory at Watkins Glen was seemingly overshadowed overnight by the arrest of Brian France on Sunday night for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone pills. While his uncle Jim France is serving as interim NASCAR chairman and CEO while Brian takes an indefinite leave of absence, the future of NASCAR seems to be in flux now more so than ever before.
Of course, this whole situation has got everyone from hardcore insiders to armchair experts offering their two cents on the matter, though one of the more seasoned personalities to weigh in on the fallout of Brian France’s arrest has been Dale Earnhardt Jr.
While Junior recorded the latest episode of the Dale Jr. Download podcast before receiving word of France’s arrest, he recorded a special opening on Tuesday ahead of the episode’s airing to address the incident.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing news, no way around that. It’s very disappointing, and I’m sure Brian is disappointed in himself. And the one thing I hope is that Brian gets in front of the people he needs to get in front of and gets the assistance and help that he needs to make sure that this is something that doesn’t happen again. Regardless of his role in NASCAR going forward, it’s important that he’s healthy and that he takes care of himself. So, I’m wishing that on him. With that said, I’m very confident in the people that NASCAR has in the industry. I know all of them very, very well.”
“I feel incredibly optimistic about being able to move forward and beyond yesterday, and with being in the broadcast booth I’ve had the opportunity to see the competition from a different point of view and what I’ve seen on the racetrack over the last several weeks, whether it’s in the Xfinity Series or the Cup series, has been incredible. The racing itself, what the drivers are doing, the effort the drivers are putting in on the racetrack, is impressive, and I’ve thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. That gives me a lot of confidence about not only how great this season’s going to be as it continues on into Homestead, it gives me a lot of confidence about the sport over the next 10 years, over the next several decades.”
“So, we’ve dealt with difficulties in the past, we’ve dealt with losses, and the sport has always continued and always thrived. I’m looking forward to this weekend in Michigan, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
We recorded the Dale Jr Download this morning. Here’s a clip of what you’ll hear tomorrow. I’ve never been more excited for the sport of Stock Car racing. From local tracks to the Cup series, something feels different. I can’t quite describe it, but its something I felt as far back as December. There’s a change of culture, a new energy, and it’s fantastic. @dirtymomedia
He seems to be settling into his new role of NASCAR broadcaster quite nicely, but an Earnhardt running the show might be just the shake-up that NASCAR needs. Do you think that Dale Jr. would make a good replacement for France?