Tag:Brian France
Posted on: July 28, 2009 4:28 pm

Brian France talks Montoya, Mayfield and more

Brian France called into “Sirius Speedway” on Monday for an impromptu interview with Dave Moody. 

Though I know France has many detractors, I figured many of you still might want to see what he had to say. Here's a transcript courtesy SIRIUS XM Radio...

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 – to have [had Montoya] won that race and made a little history with the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400.  But the rules are rules.”

France: “There are some rules, as you know, that have some subjectivity to it.  This just happens to be one that there isn’t any subjectivity to it.  You either do or you don’t.  And he understands that.  I’m sure it was disappointing as it could have been but there’s no position that we can take on that.  When you get past the frustration of watching somebody that should’ve won the race, earned it and it would have been great for everyone, but didn’t, well sure, there’s frustration that happens.”

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.”

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.”

On the Nationwide Series “Car of Tomorrow”:

Moody: “Have you got a line yet on what each of the four manufacturers want to do as far as the look of this car, the body style of this car, and how devoted is NASCAR to making this division look a whole lot different than the Cup car?”

France: “We’re always looking to distinguish one series from another while giving it the obvious flavor of NASCAR, which is close, competitive, reasonable costs for the teams, so that we can field more competitive cars on any given Saturday or Sunday.  That remains the case.  With the new car potentially, we are certainly talking to the manufacturers but we’re zeroed in also on how do we make sure, from a timing standpoint, that we don’t burden the team owners with an enormous amount of cost into the system that we’ve been talking for quite a while, for good reason, about getting cost out of the system because the teams are going through, as everybody in this economy is, lots of difficulties trying to figure out a new business model in some cases.  So we’re having to balance all this along with trying to make some progress.  But we’ll get there.  We’ve got really, really smart people working on it.”

France: “The other thing we do now – I think we do it better than we ever have and I think we were always pretty good – that’s buy-in from the industry on any significant thing that we would do.  And we listen with our fan council, as an example.  A lot of our dedicated fans are terrific in responding to our questions every week.  We’ve got tens of thousands of fans on our fan council.  For all the talk that we kind of cruise along and don’t necessarily think about everything, I understand where that might be a perception but the reality of it is any significant issue that we are going to put forward with NASCAR, we will do a lot of work with anybody that is affected, starting with our fans - which are the most affected with anything we do – all the way down to the drivers, the team owners, the sponsors, manufacturers and the tracks and so on.  And that’s a lot to try to get input and a whole bunch of different opinions, to kind of get all that information in a way that really will be good for everyone.  That’s one of our biggest tasks but that’s what we do.”

Category: Auto Racing
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