Brian France is Influential? Oh Dear, We’re in Trouble!


Guess what everybody? Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal has named NASCAR CEO and czar Brian France as the 16th most influential person in sports business.

That’s right. Brian France. Influential.

The article states:

“Jim France, Brian’s uncle, might technically own NASCAR, but Brian still runs it. The son of Bill France Jr., Brian oversees the day-to-day operations and the unit chiefs report directly to him. Brian is still the best-positioned France to dictate the direction of the sport, whether through instituting cost containment measures for teams, tweaking the Chase for the Sprint Cup format or setting the overall agenda. And if he decides to wield his influence on an issue, his voice will be heard above all others.”

For those of you unfamiliar to the term “influence”, it means “to sway without applied force”.

Funny, that doesn’t seem to describe Brian France, does it?

Let’s take a look at some of the things France did this year alone:

-Effectively ended the career of a NASCAR driver by accusing him of doing drugs; Something that has yet to be proven.

-Effectively ended the career of another NASCAR driver by levying fines and penalties against him that he knew he couldn’t pay.

-Basically told 43 drivers that they couldn’t race each other that day, just hours before a race.

-Told the world once the championship was already in one team’s hands that the competition was “the best he’s ever seen it”.

Since taking over the reigns of NASCAR in 2004, France has turned a once-great sport into a bunch of 4-hour long parades and a one-team show. Despite the desperate cries from fans to make the competition better, France has merely thumbed his nose up at them and defended his every move.

That includes his brain-child, the CoT car, the Chase system, which many believe to be flawed, and the current schedule, which features many of the same-style of cookie-cutter tracks that produce said parades. All of which have, according to many of NASCAR’s die-hard fans, destroyed the sport. Or at least, the competition.

And all of these are things he has forced on the teams, the drivers, and most importantly, the fans.

And now we’re calling this man influential? Oh dear, we are in trouble!

Tags: Brian France

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    “-Effectively ended the career of a NASCAR driver by accusing him of doing drugs; Something that has yet to be proven.”

    Spoken like true Mayfield sycophant. Of course Mayfield had nothing to do with it right? Case in point, he could have acted a bit more rationally i.e. If he had reported for his mandated rehabilitation. In that case if true his innocence from subsequent testing and rehab doctors concurrence may have happened.

    Instead he chose to fling wild conspiratorial theories about how his urine was spiked, a “fact” he and his lawyers have never attempted to prove in any court filing to date.

    Mayfield’s claim of a drug test ending his career flies in the face of facts, that being Shane Hmiel’s case, he failed a test, returned to race, failed a test and was reinstated, a third failed test banned him for life.

    Final thought, France turned the sport into a one-team show? Funny they said that when Roush had five of the 10 cars in the Chase, how did that work out? The sports history has been dominated by one team or another throughout it’s history, its nothing new.

    And did France thumb his nose at fans when the restart rules were changed or as seen this week a booth bobblehead was changed in the NNS series after months of whining by fans unhappy with
    Jerry Punch?

  • hopper

    Clearly, we will never agree on the Mayfield saga. Clearly, we will never agree that NASCAR has turned into the Hendrick show even despite the fact that I wrote an 800-word article on why I think that. And clearly, we will never agree that Brian France himself is a complete nutcase.

    You have your opinions, I have mine.

    But can we at least agree that Brian France is anything but influential?

  • http://Yahoo KT

    I won’t agree or disagree with the Mayfield issue…don’t have enough FACTS to form a judgement. I will state that Hendrick$ has the $$$ and clout to hold his own with the France’s. Bottom line tho’ as a purist Stock Car Racing fan that has watched the races since the time of Petty,Allison,Junior Johnson,etc,etc. The sport has moved far away from its’ roots. Sad thing is, we all know that $$$ drives every sport we watch but Nascar is trying its’ best to parody the WWE!

  • Steve

    Shoot, Marc missed something! His hot button used to be grammar and spelling and context. My only minor point- Brian is in control of the REINS of Nascar (like a rider of a horse). He REIGNS by absolute power, like an absolute monarch or dictator. And like absolute monarchs and dictators, he sets up a legal system where the alleged rulebreaker is guilty until proven innocent! Thus Carl and Jeremy have their livelihoods ruined by a fellow who has many visible skeletons and who knows how much swept under the rug? Marty Reid may be a more exciting commentator, but I still respect the heck out of Jerry Punch, especially his appreciation for Dale Earnhart helping out Jerry’s wife when she was very pregnant and Jerry couldn’t make it home!

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    “But can we at least agree that Brian France is anything but influential?”

    Sorry we can’t and by using your own measure i.e. the Mayfield case, the Long case etc you defeat your own argument.

    Assuming someone agrees with each of your examples how has what France done in each case not swaying someone “without applied force?”

    He and the sanctioning body applied rules in force at the time. All you’ve done is apply your antiFrance stance and conveniently selected a definition of influence to fit your agenda.

    Of course what you really want, apparently, is for France to have ignored the rule in place and allowed Mayfield to continue to race disregarding the potential threat he posed in the process.

    Carl Long, regardless the fact his engine was not only over the hard fast rule on engine size but also beyond the tolerance NASCAR gives, should have been given a slap on the wrist in your eys. I guess. And BTW, why do you blame France for that when it was the Stock Car Commission that made that ruling, not France? You’re far off target with that one.

    Finally, I note you ignored the two examples of France bowing to the Fans wishes with regard to the new restart rule and demoting a broadcaster to pitroad reporter.

    Not surprising.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Steve… “Shoot, Marc missed something! His hot button used to be grammar and spelling and context.”

    Sorry to disappoint. Really.

    I’ll try better next time

    Steve continues…. “And like absolute monarchs and dictators, he sets up a legal system where the alleged rulebreaker is guilty until proven innocent! Thus Carl and Jeremy have their livelihoods ruined by a fellow who has many visible skeletons and who knows how much swept under the rug?”

    And the commissioner of MLB or the NFL is different?

    Sorry, both in the MLB and NFL suspend players immediately after a positive drug test. The only difference is in those two sports the suspensions are for a certain time length that gets longer with each positive test.

    Of course both sports don’t have athletes running around at 190mph while possibly on drugs and endangering both themselves, other driers and fans.

    A major distinction many ignore while being critical of NASCAR’s policy.

    And praytell, what do France’s “skeletons,” real or imagined have to do with anything?

    Is it because he “may have” beat his wife, killed a puppy, cheated on his taxes or used cocaine and that disqualifies him somehow?

    Come on, you gotta do better than that, that’s patent BS.

    • hopper

      So it’s okay for you to defend France’s “alledged” actions, but it’s NOT okay for us to defend Mayfield’s “alledged” actions. Is that what you’re saying?

  • Steve

    As Hopper so accurately states, it takes bringing Mayfield into the mix to light up this board. I have to say that I believe that Brian France IS influential, but most almost all of his influence has been quite negative as far as Nascar’s relative standing among major sports in America.
    Also, in reference to another well thought-out article by Hopper, where he detailed the relative accident involvement by current drivers, I would be very interested to rate Mayfield on that scale. As the “impaired” driver of a 190 mph “missile”, I don’t think his crash ratio is too bad. Of course, his contact with the #3 car on the last lap of a certain Pocono race could be called a crash, but many would ascribe it to be excellent car control.
    I may be naive, but I doubt Brian France caused the reassignment of Jerry Punch. Marty Reid may add some excitement to the booth, but the limit will be reached very soon, because commentary on a parade is quite limited!

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    hopper “So it’s okay for you to defend France’s “alledged” actions, but it’s NOT okay for us to defend Mayfield’s “alledged” actions. Is that what you’re saying?”

    And my defense of France’s actions is where?

    Please, quote the part you think does.

    My point, the only point, is whatever France has or has not done privately isn’t germane to the Mayfield case. If you think it is explain how and we can debate the issue from there.

    P.S. And to keep Steve happy… “alledged” is correctly spelled alleged. Happy now Steve sure would hate to disappoint.

    • hopper

      And praytell, what do France’s “skeletons,” real or imagined have to do with anything?

      Is it because he “may have” beat his wife, killed a puppy, cheated on his taxes or used cocaine and that disqualifies him somehow?

      Right there, you’re basically saying that France’s potential actions are okay. Not that what I’m saying here matters as you’ll likely just try and tell me that you meant something else, just like always.

      My other point is that France is a hypocrite. Case closed.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    hopper “Right there, you’re basically saying that France’s potential actions are okay. Not that what I’m saying here matters as you’ll likely just try and tell me that you meant something else, just like always.”

    Guessing at someone’s thought process is far from your strong suit.

    “My other point is that France is a hypocrite. Case closed.”

    You can’t close something you never opened. Maybe I missed it and you actually did attempt to justify why France’s failings, whatever they may or may not be, disqualifies him from the position he holds?

    Sorry if being a hypocrite disqualifies someone from holding a job, except for say, a Priest, the unemployment rate would be a exponentially higher than it is.

    Oh, and BTW, your little trick of guessing someone’s thought process as a way to rhetorically attack them is called a Strawman Argument.

    Just for the record.

  • hopper

    I never said that his issues should disqualify him, and I will never know what part of thin air you got that from. I simply asked if we could agree that he is anything but influential.

    Are your pageviews down again or something and you’re looking for free advertising? Because it seems that you show up every few months and start spouting crap and then you leave. What’s your deal exactly?

  • Steve

    I think his exact deal is the same one I was able to use when students in my automotive classes wanted to mess with me for many reasons. We had a portion of their grade called Professional Behavior, and a certain percentage could be deducted for “arguing for the sake of the argument”. That’s how Marc hits me. As an infrequent poster, I may not always keep my opinions on topic, but I try. With Marc, it really always seems very personal, with “I’m smarter than you are because I have more knowledge of legal/courtroom processes”. I will definitely agree that you are right, Marc, you know this stuff better than I do! I participate because I do have opinions, but I am willing to learn from others that have more knowledge, a more balanced perspective, or both!
    But it is very interesting that in my free moments at work today, I studied the Wikipedia site on Tim Richmond. They mentioned that it was very possible that Nascar through their drug tester Dr. Tennant could have falsified drug tests to bar him, actually did bar him on similar substances that are in question in the Mayfield saga. Richmond challenged them and did get reinstated. Talk about talent and skill! Yes, he was a reckless individual in his personal life, but on the track with Harry Hyde in the pits, awesome!

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    hooper “I never said that his issues should disqualify him, and I will never know what part of thin air you got that from. I simply asked if we could agree that he is anything but influential.”

    And I plainly said no, we couldn’t agree. All you have done is cherry pick some aspects of what France has done, or not done that shows him in a bad light. All the while ignoring such things as restart rule changes that the fan base has praised, instituting a “NASCAR Fan Council” that rates each and every NASCAR race, post race, or how about this one [you gotta hate this one right?] France changed how driver/crew chief cash penalties for rules violations were dispersed. They formerly were reentered into to points fund allowing some that were penalized to get back some of there money.

    France changed that, the money now goes to charity. Let me guess, in your book that’s not “influential” in a good way, it’s a bad thing?

    hooper “Are your pageviews down again or something and you’re looking for free advertising? Because it seems that you show up every few months and start spouting crap and then you leave.”

    Free adverts? From posting here? Not likely given the amount of traffic, or lack thereof you get.

    How about this, I’ll post on each and every post you publish, even if only a single letter and post it without my blog’s url?

    Would that be all peachy keen, or not?

    And BTW, I’m still waiting for your quote of me claiming “France’s potential actions are okay,” [talk about "thin air"] or any “defense of France’s actions.” NOTE pointing out his “good deeds” is NOT a defense in any way. But you know that right?

    • hopper

      Free adverts? From posting here? Not likely given the amount of traffic, or lack thereof you get.

      Well, what is it then? You don’t actually LIKE the stuff I post on this blog, do you?

      How about this, I’ll post on each and every post you publish, even if only a single letter and post it without my blog’s url?

      Would that be all peachy keen, or not?

      If it’s relevant to the article, you may post it. If not, don’t bother.

      As far as your blog’s url, I don’t care what you do. Just do me a favor. Be respectful to me, this blog, and especially my readers. Thank you

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Steve says….“That’s how Marc hits me. As an infrequent poster, I may not always keep my opinions on topic, but I try. With Marc, it really always seems very personal, with “I’m smarter than you are because I have more knowledge of legal/courtroom processes”

    More knowledge in some cases, yes. “Smarter,” maybe yes maybe no neither you or I can know that for sure can we? That said, what I do do is actually track down as much info as possible on any topic, as opposed to some that opine with little or no knowledge. It’s much easier to spew BS than it is to make the slightest effort at accuracy.

    “I studied the Wikipedia site on Tim Richmond. They mentioned that it was very possible that Nascar through their drug tester Dr. Tennant could have falsified drug tests to bar him, a……”

    Well, there’s your first mistake, taking anything read on a wikipedia page for gospel.

    In short, it’s BS, in a sense because some in arguing Mayfield’s case point to Dr. Tennent and what was alleged, and never proven, as some type of “proof” that NASCAR could once again do the same thing.

    “It’s a Red Herring and rabbit whole Mayfield’s lawyers haven’t even jumped into.

    But let’s say you, or other’s care to use this faulty logic in condemning NASCAR or it’s lab, Aegis Labs in Mayfield’s case.

    Using that logic Mayfield’s lab of choice has been LabCorp. His lab of choice has been cited by the Food and Drug Administration several times for not following correct testing procedures, and then there’s this:

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — April 11, 2009, A Triad medical company said it mistakenly faxed almost a dozen pages of personal patient information to the wrong number. The lab test results were sent from LabCorp, and were meant to go to Winston-Salem Health Care. Instead, they went to Leigh Ambruso’s home insurance office.

    “I don’t know how to read test results,” she said. “I know enough to know I wasn’t supposed to have this information.”

    For six days LabCorp sent information from about 12 patients to Ambruso’s fax machine. Originally, she said, she didn’t think anything of it. “I just want people to know this is happening,” she said.

    She said she finally had enough and realized the fax was violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). “I said, ‘If you send me one more fax, I’m going to call the patient and tell them I have their personal information,’” Ambruso said.

    One of the patients….William Dull said he was anxiously waiting on results to determine if his cancer remained in remission. “It’s very upsetting,” Dull said. “It’s not being handled like it should be.”

    No one at LabCorp would talk on camera. The company eventually responded.

    “The fax number has been corrected in our computing systems to prevent similar incidents in the future,” the company said in a statement.

    A Winston-Salem Health Care representative said that the company takes the security and confidentiality of patient information very seriously. “We appreciate the caller’s efforts to bring this situation to LabCorp’s attention so that it could be addressed,” a company representative said. Winston-Salem Health Care said it is still investigating the mix-up.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    hopper “Well, what is it then? You don’t actually LIKE the stuff I post on this blog, do you?

    As usual you assume too much, not to mention attempt to read what someone is thinking. In this case that I don’t like what you write.

    Put it this way, I read at minimum the headlines of over 130 NASCAR and Open Wheel type blogs each day. Many times each day I read entire posts published that day if something is of interest.

    Does that mean I have to time to post on each one? Not even close.

    Fact is I could, I repeat, I could post a short comment on all of them including Stock Car Spin that says something to the effect of “hey great post, keep up the good work.”

    Sounds more like spam doesn’t it? It’s also BS.

    What I do do is comment on posts that cast things in a different light or things that I disagree with or can offer a solution to some stated problem.

    Specifically to this post, you made the spurious claim France isn’t or wasn’t influential because he did things to certain NASCAR personalities that you disagreed with.

    Your examples in themselves make him influential, in a “bad” sense according to you, that you don’t see your examples of him being influential is an entirely different matter.

    As far as giving you or your readership respect all I ever expect is the same in return.

    Unfortunately that doesn’t include unsubstantiated statements pulled out of thin air such as “saying that France’s potential actions are okay” and when called on it I get no response or a change of subject. That applies to Steve who made the clear implication I may have strayed “off topic.”

    Maybe you see where I did, if so let me know.