It’s the NASCAR offseasonso what better time to address the Brian France-sized elephant in the room?
France, the former third-generation CEO of NASCAR, stopped by Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast for a quick 2-hour sit-down last week, and the two talked about everything.
Yes, I mean everything.
“Obviously, I made a mistake that evening. Made a mistake – can’t happen – a mistake like that. It happened. It’s on me,” France, who turned 60 this past summer, said of his 2018 DWI arrest in Sag Harbor, NY
“That’s just something you can’t do. It happened and life goes on.”
It does, and it did! More on Brian in a bit, though.
Along the way, we’ll hit on Ryan Blaney’s STUNNING takedown of Chase Elliott (not really, but kind of), Dale Jr. driving his daddy’s No. 3 once again, and NASCAR’s Christmas list for the next TV deal.
Tis the season!
Four tires and a ton of fuel (we have a long way to go before Daytona, you know), Monday Morning Pit-Stop – Thanksgiving Edition (whatever that means) – is LIVE!
Brian France, former NASCAR CEO, talks life after DWI
I reckon we should start with Brian France – the grandson of NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr. – and his … incident … back in 2018.
For those new to the sport, France was pulled over four years ago for driving through a stop sign in Sag Harbor and later arrested for DUI and possession of oxycodone.
He eventually pleaded guilty, had to serve 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling, and was soon replaced by his uncle, Jim France.
OK, we all caught up?
“I’d had a 15-year run as the CEO. That’s a long time,” Brian told Junior of his NASCAR tenure. “I don’t like a messy ending like that. No one likes that. But I have to tell you, I couldn’t be any happier with what I’m doing now and being able to look back at what we accomplished.”
For those wondering, what France is doing now ain’t too shabby. Nowadays, you can find France running the show at a private-equity company called Silver Falcon.
That, folks, is called landing on your feet!
Still, France continued, that “messy ending” was certainly a turning point.
“That obviously was a dark moment,” France said. “Caused me to look at some things that I was doing in my life that could’ve been done a lot better.”
Ryan Blaney exposes Chase Elliott as a fraud
OK, that’s probably a bit misleading.
Chase certainly isn’t a fraud… on the track. But if what Young Ryan Blaney alleges of good friend Chase Elliott is true, I think we’re all going to have to rethink some things.
Jarring stuff, if true.
First off, if ANYONE is eating chicken wings with a fork and knife … that’s an automatic non-starter for me. Can’t have that. Not in today’s divided climate, and, frankly, not ever.
Couple that with Blaney’s second accusation – that Chase inexplicably thinks parmesan garlic wings are too spicy – and NASCAR may have a major problem on its hands.
Can’t have your Most Popular Driver pulling crap like this. Not when you’re trying to grow the sport.
Chase Elliott has won MPD like five years in a row now, and will almost certainly win it again this season. But are the skeletons in the closet starting to come out?
I’m getting real Trump vs. DeSantis vibes here.
Head on a swivel, Chase.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Southern 400 races
okay back to Juniorwho sandwiched an actual automobile race around his Brian France interview.
Earnhardt spent the weekend running the Southern 400 at Florence Motor Speedway in the 30th running of the Late Model race.
Junior finished ninth, but that’s it neither here nor there. How about this GEM of a race car he drove!
She’s a beauty, Clark.
That majestic machine was a throwback scheme to the Bass Pro Shops car Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove in the 1998 NASCAR All-Star Race. Junior started deep in the field, worked his way up, avoided a couple wrecks, mixed it up a bit (as seen above) and brought her home ninth.
Not bad, Junior!
“I probably ticked off a couple of them guys, getting them turned around there,” Dale told FloRacing after the race. “Still, I was so happy just being fast.”
Sounds like his daddy.
NASCAR wants more money from the next TV deal
Finally, on our way out … turns out, the fellas in the big glass building across from Daytona International Speedway want a few more dollars in the next TV deal.
NASCAR is reportedly seeking a 10 to 15% increase in rights fees for its next long-term media deal, according to Front Office Sports. Negotiations with both FOX and NBC are set to begin next spring.
Right now, the two networks combined pay upwards of $820 million annually under the current deal, which ends after 2024. In the next deal, NASCAR apparently wants those numbers to hover in the $900-950 million range for 8-10 years.
While FOX and NBC get first crack as the incumbents, other networks – like ESPN – could join the mix, as could streaming giants like Amazon and Apple.
And if I know NASCAR fans like I think I do, they will LOVE having to search for the Sunday afternoon automobile race on the Amazon app.
That’ll work out GREAT.
You’re up, Larry Mac!