France: NASCAR To Bring Innovation In-House
By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – For NASCAR’s first five decades, innovations and technology in the sport primarily came from the race teams, but now those items will originate at the sanctioning body’s Research and Development Center in Concord, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Saturday.
“We’re going to use a lot more science than art in establishing the very thing that matters most, which is safety, of course, but also putting ourselves in a position to have the closest, tightest competition possible,” France said.
France noted that was the reason Gene Stefanyshyn was hired last month as NASCAR’s vice president, innovation and racing development.
In Saturday’s press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway, France said NASCAR wasn’t looking for more speed in the cars.
“The R&D Center works on all kinds of things that aren’t necessarily just creating the best rules package, including aero things that keep the car on the ground,” France continued. “Innovation is going to be a big area to us. You’ll see us announce different companies that are going to come in. This is a place to validate lots of things with technology. You’re going to see us embrace technology, embrace innovation so long as it can make the racing tighter, better and safer.”
France said he believed the quality of racing with the Gen-6 car could be improved.
“We want to see a more fair balance where the best drivers and the best teams on a given night who race just a little bit harder, make just a little bit bigger effort,” France continued. “That’s the hallmark of NASCAR. That’s the steak on the plate for us. Our fans have come to expect us to deliver on that as much as possible.”
On other topics addressed during the press conference:
– France doesn’t “see a new venue” in 2014.
– NASCAR’s green initiative has put it in a better position with younger fans and has resulted in several sponsorships.
– The Air Titan is available for every track. However, some wanted to see it “validated.” France said he hoped the cost of it would come down and every track that was at risk of having rain would use the system.
– Negotiations for the sport’s television rights are “getting down to the last bit of it.” France hopes to remain with NASCAR’s current TV partners, “but that’s why you have negotiations and discussions. We’ll have to see how that plays out.” He said he was glad the TV contract with FOX had already been extended and NASCAR was pleased to be a part of FOX Sports 1 [formerly Speed Channel].
– SAFER barriers would be added at tracks when NASCAR deemed them necessary.One Comment