NASCAR: Tony Stewart Takes Shots At Brian France

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports /
USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports /

2016 might be Tony Stewart’s final season in NASCAR but it doesn’t look like he will be going away quietly. On Thursday he took some shots and called out Brian France.

One of the biggest issues in sports or life in general is that all too often people have issues with other people and never say or do anything about it. Obviously there are times when such actions aren’t appropriate; putting you boss on blast might not be the best move for your career. However, there are also times in life where some people can do such things like putting their boss on blast and have it not be an issue and three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart just experienced one of those times.

Stewart recently did an interview with Dave Moody on Sirius XM Radio. During the interview Stewart spoke very openly and bluntly about NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and some of the issues that he has with him.

"(I) never see Brian France.I want to see Brian France at the track more. I want to see him walking through the garage more. I want to see him being more active than just showing up and patting the sponsors on the back and going up in the suite. I want to see him down there in the trenches with everybody and understanding what’s truly going on. I think that’s where he needs to be for awhile.I would like for him to be there because the stuff I’m talking about, I want to know before I leave that room that he understands. I want to see he cares enough to be there, not sit there and get a report from somebody. I know Brian France cares. But I think there’s a lot of things that get lost in translation between a driver going to talk to somebody in the (NASCAR office) trailer to the time it gets to him. Who knows what it sounds like by the time it gets up there — or if it even gets up there. … He doesn’t have to say anything. We just want to know that he’s hearing what we’re saying.I don’t care what the repercussions are. I’m saying it because I care. I’m not trying to pick a fight with him. Nobody wants to disrupt the apple cart, nobody wants to make Brian mad. But we’re all in it together. If it doesn’t work for one, it doesn’t work for all of us."

Stewart continued his thoughts on France while remembering a confrontation the two had at Pocono this past season. During the confrontation, France scolded Stewart for openly voicing his desire for a low downforce package in NASCAR. At the time vice president of racing development Gene Stefanyshyn was pushing France and NASCAR to go with a high-drag package.

"I sat there in my head thinking, ‘Wait a minute. You’re standing up for a guy (Stefanyshyn) who’s never worked on a race car, never been on a race team and now is making decisions on what the rules package is going to be versus guys who have been driving a race car for 20 or 30 years. You’re telling us that guy is smarter than we all are?’ That’s where Brian France and I disagree."

It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction Stewart’s comments warrant from the NASCAR community.

France will obviously not be happy about these comments as in the past there have been numerous reports of France not being happy when drivers or those in the sport openly oppose him. Heck, Stewart’s Pocono example is one of those times that France was not happy when being opposed by a driver on something.

It will also be interesting to see if Stewart’s comments open up the door for other drivers in NASCAR to talk freely about France and some of the things that they don’t like.

More racing: Five Drivers Who Will Miss The Chase In 2016

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