Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Brian France is stepping down as NASCAR’s Chairman and CEO in the aftermath of the discovery of tire tampering in NASCAR on Tuesday coupled with the growing belief this season that NASCAR is fixing races.
In a stunning decision according to unconfirmed sources, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France is expected to announce that he is stepping down from his position at the end of the week. The third generation leader of the sport followed his father Bill France Jr. and his grandfather Bill France at the helm of NASCAR. France has led NASCAR since 2003.
More from NASCAR
- NASCAR Cup Series: New team set to compete in 2024
- NASCAR: Will Kevin Harvick’s major record ever be broken?
- NASCAR: Surprising name continuously linked to new seat
- NASCAR driver at risk of missing the Daytona 500?
- NASCAR set for rare appearance last seen 13 years ago
France has been under fire lately because of some of the issues in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Tuesday’s discovery that a team has actually been tampering with tires is just another bump in what has been a challenging 2015 season for France. Aside from tire tampering France has had to deal with accusations that NASCAR is fixing races, these allegations came in the aftermath of Kurt Busch not winning Fontana because of late cautions. Those same late cautions which have been dubbed “phantom cautions” have plagued France since he took over the sport in 2003. France has also been critiqued for his handling of the Kurt Busch suspension as well as the constant changing of the qualifying and championship formats.
While France appears to be walking away from NASCAR it doesn’t appear he is leaving the sports world. An unnamed source in Jacksonville claims that France will be selling his shares in the International Speedway Corporation and the sanctioning body because he wants to be an investor to purchase the Jaguars and move the team to the Daytona International Speedway.
"It is a top notch facility that is only used a couple weekends a year, said an industry source. With the possibility of purchasing the Jaguars and putting a football field just inside the tri-oval, it all makes sense to add money to the family coffers. Can you imagine 100,000 fans coming to Daytona to see an NFL game? I’m surprised that Brian is the first guy to think to do this in all honesty."
France’s departure while unexpected, has not been perceived as a bad thing by many NASCAR executives. One executive who didn’t want his name on the record seeing as how the official announcement has yet to be made believes that NASCAR will thrive without France.
"We can’t be looked at in the same light as the WWE which is how we were perceived throughout the chase last season. This change will get us off the front pages for the possibility of fixed races or bogus yellow flags. It will shift the focus back to racing which is where it should have been the entire time"
A second unnamed NASCAR executive openly took a shot at France, calling into question his education.
"He did graduate from Central Florida of all places. You have engineers with degrees from prestigious organizations who are able to manipulate him like a puppet. Look at how Chad Knaus has played him for years. If he had a degree from a place like Yale or Harvard, Johnson maybe has two championships. Brian is a nice guy but he was just in over his head."
Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. is excited about the news.
Before taking over NASCAR, France was best known for creating NASCAR reality television and cartoons. Now France will try to revitalize a Jaguar franchise that has more or less fallen off of the map in the NFL. Along with the announcement on Friday that he is stepping down to go to the NFL, NASCAR is also expected to announce their new sponsor for the Sprint Cup Series. The announcement of the new sponsor is apparently the first step in the right direction in a NASCAR world that no longer has France. The new tech company is called WEGOTCHA because it’s April 1 and you should have figured this was a joke by now.
Also, we here at BTF love the University of Central Florida and by no means believe that a degree from their isn’t one of the most prestigious in the country. We hope that all of you enjoyed our April Fool’s Day article. Please feel free to share this with your fellow NASCAR fans. Because all of you were such good sports we will be giving away a SUNOCO Gas Card to one of our readers. To have a chance to win all you have to do is “like” us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter, you can do both of those by clicking below. Once again Happy April Fool’s Day everyone!