NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and Amy France attend 'A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to Cure'
On the eve of Veterans Day weekend, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and his wife Amy helped raise more than $6 million on Wednesday at "Stand Up for Heroes" in New York City in support of post-9/11 injured service members, veterans and their families through the Bob Woodruff Foundation. It was the latest in a long line of examples of NASCAR going beyond the call for America's troops. The Frances and another party bid and won a special auction with items and experiences from rock 'n roll legend Bruce Springsteen. The package includes a signed guitar and an hour guitar lesson from Springsteen, who also will provide a homemade lasagna dinner and a motorcycle ride in Springsteen's side car with "The Boss" driving. This year's event surpassed expectations, besting last year's record $5 million total. Springsteen helped raise $600,000 alone with the Frances and the other party committing $300,000 apiece to the Stand Up for Heroes Fund. NASCAR has a long track record of supporting the U.S. military, dating back to its roots. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. began a tradition that continues to this day of recognizing Medal of Honor winners before the July 4th race at Daytona International Speedway . In June, NASCAR marked the fifth anniversary of its Troops to the Track presented by Bank of America initiative. Thousands of troops from local military installations across the country have been treated to customized VIP experiences which include garage tours, driver meet-and-greets and recognition during the drivers' meeting, among many other special-access activities. "NASCAR: An American Salute" is an annual tribute to the men and women who fight for our freedom. Beginning Memorial Day weekend in Charlotte through Fourth of July weekend in Daytona, teams, sponsors, tracks, the sanctioning body and its stakeholders sport special red, white and blue paint schemes and host military members and their families throughout the summer. On this Veterans Day weekend as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heads to Phoenix International Raceway , the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 as veterans, active military members and their families will be honored throughout the weekend. Like every weekend on the NASCAR schedule, the patriotic pre-race ceremony will feature an honor guard, a rousing rendition of the National Anthem and a military flyover. "It's in our DNA," NASCAR President Mike Helton said, "to help military families understand how grateful we are and to encourage our fans to do the same thing; it's evolved with the sport. Bill France Jr. and certainly Bill ( France ) Sr. were adamant about NASCAR being a voice to remind everybody that there were men and women who were making sacrifices so that we had the opportunity to do the things that we enjoy. "And a lot of it had to do with the fact that ( France Sr.) created NASCAR right after World War II ... he had a very direct purpose behind it. "But that culture was passed on and handed down; as NASCAR grew, that responsibility grew with it." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Brian and Amy France as well as other celebrities talk about attending the Michael J. Fox Foundation event in New York City.
Frances donate $50,000 to Gabrielle's Angel Foundation
NASCAR Chairman & CEO, wife donate $50,000 to help wounded military members
NASCAR Chairman and CEO says sport will build on momentum
The 25th Troops to the Track program of 2014 welcomes Luke Air Force Base
NASCAR Chairman and CEO: 'Teams just elevate … when there is more on the line' RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said he expects one of the four teams contending for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship to win the title by winning Sunday's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) is the 36th and final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, and the finale of the 10-race Chase. Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) and Ryan Newman ( Richard Childress Racing ) are competing for the title, having survived and advanced through three previous rounds to reach the championship event. Because the points were reset after every round, each of the four drivers enter this weekend's event tied atop the standings. The driver finishing highest in the race will be crowned champion for 2014. "That's the coolest part of what's happened here -- and I'll be really surprised if one of those four teams doesn't win the race," France said Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "Anything's possible, who knows? But the way … history has gone, teams just elevate, athletes elevate (their game) when there is more on the line. And it's exciting to watch." France referenced Tony Stewart 's stirring win at Homestead in 2011, a victory that earned the veteran a third Sprint Cup title, calling it "one of the best performances I've seen from a driver." "He had to win the race, had to beat Carl Edwards and did just that," France said. Changes to the Chase format this year expanded the field to 16 teams and divided the Chase into three three-race segments -- the Challenger Round, Contender Round and Eliminator Round -- followed by a one-race Championship Round. Chase eligible drivers scoring a win in each round automatically advanced to the next round, with four drivers lowest in points being eliminated. The remaining spots in the field for each round were determined based on points earned in that round. While Harvick and Logano advanced thanks to timely victories -- Logano at Loudon and Kansas, Harvick at Charlotte and Phoenix -- and accumulating the points needed when they didn't win, others weren't as fortunate. Former champions such as Jimmie Johnson , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski all eventually were knocked from contention, leaving some to question the process. "I would say that with any format that we would ever devise, with the exception of if we qualify that with a 'you have to win to compete for the championship,' that's auto racing," France said. "That happens. "Talk to Rusty Wallace, who won more races (than anyone) in a given year, talk to Bill Elliott , talk to all the past champions, past competitors in NASCAR who had a stellar season but they weren't the best on any given day. "This format, you've got to be the best all the way through. There is no format that we're going to devise that weights it so much that if you win so many races that you're going to somehow automatically going to be the champion. … In my view, this is the best balance in auto racing. There's no question about it. You've still got to win and move on, still got to do a lot of things." Hamlin has just a single win (at Talladega earlier this year) while Newman has yet to win since joining RCR prior to the start of the 2014 season. Yet both have managed to advance and now find themselves with a chance to win their first Sprint Cup title. " Ryan Newman did everything he needed to do to put himself in position to be a champion, and those are all great things for us," France said. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Brain France addresses the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway to share his thoughts on the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and previews what type of a race the Ford EcoBoost 400 could be.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France talks about the 2014 Chase format and how it has exceeded his expectations.