NASCAR CEO Talks Top Issues In Daytona Beach
By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR’s summer visit to Daytona is traditionally considered the mid-point of the racing season.
It’s also an opportunity for NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France to meet the media to address a wide-range of questions related to the sport.
On the eve of Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, the third-generation leader of NASCAR touched on topics such as mandatory cautions, new technology, renegotiating the television package, the 2013 schedule, shortening races and the new Sprint Cup car slated to debut next season.
On mandatory cautions: “What we’re not going to do are gimmicky things,” France said. “I’ve heard we ought to throw a caution every ten laps. That’s nonsense. We won’t do gimmicky things. But we’ll do things that incentivize performance, incentivize wins. That we are open to. The wildcard does that. It does it in an authentic way.
“Double file restarts get us better racing action. Anything that gets something better on the track and doesn’t employ a gimmick, we’d be reasonably open to.”
On new technology: “We’re working on a glass dashboard that is in the early stages, which is not inconsistent because the car manufacturers and some already there are coming with their own version of glass cockpits in passenger cars.
“So we’ll be very careful how we get there, but we’ll be looking at such things as that and many other things.”
On negotiations with the networks on a new television package: “Well, we’re getting into the time line where we’re having serious discussions about what the future will look like. We have our incumbents, some of the best partners we’ve ever had. We’ll have to see how that goes.
“The good news for NASCAR and frankly any high‑powered sports content is there is a lot of demand for it. So the sport will be in very good shape, and we’re looking forward to those discussions and how they materialize.”
On next year’s schedule: “I don’t think there will be any dramatic changes in 2013. There may be a few things here or there, but I wouldn’t anticipate a big change.”
On shortening races: “Any information shows that people have more to do, more devices to play with and get information from, and as a result, their attention span is shorter.
“We’ve shortened events. It’s generally worked well. At Pocono it worked well, California worked well, Dover has worked well. We’ll look at that.”
On the new Cup car slated to debut in 2013: “(The manufacturers) had a lot more input, as the teams have had, in this car, than we certainly did in the car in 2007.
“So that’s just going to get us better results. The answer is given how important Daytona is to the season and the biggest event, my sense is we’ll see quite a bit of testing as we go down the road here in Daytona.”
– Jeff Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments