By admin | September 12, 2013
By Richard Allen
Has anyone heard from Brian France lately? Anyone?
Before writing this piece, I checked a number of media outlets to verify that France has not been heard from during the course of what is perhaps the most tumultuous week in the sport’s history. A look at NASCAR’s own NASCAR.com offered no words from France. A glance through the Twitter feed of Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel revealed no “Brian France to join us next” tweets.
There was no mention of Mr. France’s whereabouts on the catch all Jayski.com website.
So, I thought, if the chairman had made any public statement, it surely would have been reported by Jeff Gluck or Nate Ryan of USAToday, but no such story was available. The ever diligent Bob Pockrass of The Sporting News did not have anything on that media outlet’s website from France. Views of the Twitter feeds of the AP’s Jenna Fryer, ESPN’s Marty Smith and Fox’s Tom Jensen brought no news from France.
And to be clear, this is not written as an indictment of these reporters for not seeking France out. In such a time, the head of a major sport should be clearly visible, not in exile.
In the midst of a scandal that threatens NASCAR’s credibility in the most serious manner since he has been at the helm of the sport, Mr. France has been remarkably silent over the last few days. Instead of the Chairman himself, NASCAR President Mike Helton has been the one to hold press conferences and hit the airwaves.
It would seem as if the man whose name(and whose family’s name) is most associated with NASCAR would at least say something during a time when evidence suggests that two teams may have conspired to fix the outcome of a race. And it wasn’t just any race. It was the deciding event leading into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
After all, it is the Chase that will ultimately decide the success or failure of France’s tenure at the helm of NASCAR. The playoff has been the biggest change to the sport in decades, and it came under the current chairman’s leadership. For it to be tampered with in such an overt way should be something that would warrant an appearance from the man in charge.
Hearing from the president of the organization is certainly essential at a time such as this. But it isn’t Mike Helton whose grandfather founded NASCAR and whose father built the company into a nationally known sports entity.
So where are you, Brian France? What do you think of the deeds done by Michael Waltrip Racing and Penske Racing?
Paging Mr. France. Paging Brian France.
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