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France : 'Teams are pushing the limits'
NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Brian France , joined Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, and talked about the updated rules that will be implemented starting this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
Brian France addresses key topics in FS1 interview
NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France joined FOX Sports' Chris Myers during Sunday's pre-race show on FS1, and the two discussed a number of topics -- including the search for an entitlement sponsor, the possibility of mid-week races and the influx of talented young drivers. See below for highlights of the conversation, which came on the final FOX Sports broadcast of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for 2016. On changes to NASCAR structure (including the Drivers Council and Charter system): "Well, it's a lot of structural changes that allow us to build for the future in a smarter way. It allows the owners to look at their expenses differently and build some enterprise value. … And it aligns our interests, too, which is very important. With the Drivers Council, it gives us the input that we need. That gives us the cooperation. This is an industry where the better we're cooperating together, the better we can deliver for our fans the best, closest racing in the world." On lugnuts: "That's a safety thing. We would have preferred to not have to intervene all the time, but we will when we need to." On the search for a new entitlement sponsor: "Several companies here (in California, site of this weekend's race at Sonoma Raceway) are taking a hard look. It's a very special asset in sports. We have a lot of interest and we just want to make a good decision as we go down this stretch and choose our next partner." On Tony Stewart retiring, other NASCAR stars advancing in age: "I would be (concerned) if we didn't have such a talented group of young drivers. And when we started the Drive for Diversity, we were out looking for different, talented drivers that maybe have a diverse background -- you have Daniel Suarez being exemplary proof of that. We have a lot of talent coming." On a road course in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup : "We would be for it. The reality is it's very hard to get the schedule to match up." On more weeknight racing: "Don't see that." On the All-Star Race changing location: "Maybe. There's a lot of interest in that very interesting event. Charlotte's been good to us for a lot of reasons, but we'll always keep that open." On the possibility of shorter races: "We've shortened some from time to time, and we'll continue to look at it. And we'll look at the format as well, not just the length of time but how it's structured. … We're OK with length of time."
Betty Jane France's giving nature honored at her funeral
PHOTOS: Remembering Betty Jane France DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR employees sat alongside community leaders. Race team owners shared pews with Betty Jane France's many, many friends. Her beloved and close-knit family members -- including her brother-in-law Jim France , NASCAR Chairman Brian France and his family, and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy and her son, Ben -- were among the more than 500 people who gathered to wish Betty Jane France a proper and heartfelt farewell. Anyone driving into Volusia County on Thursday morning surely noticed the prevailing Tropical Storm Hermine clouds often parted in spots revealing blue sky, a fitting natural tribute to one of NASCAR's brightest personalities. Richard Petty, Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon , sportscar star Hurley Haywood and all of NASCAR's executives were among those gathered to pay respects to France . Bouquets of white orchids, lillies, hydrangeas, and roses decorated the church alter, and the calming scent of seeded eucalyptus came from floral arrangements adorning the ends of the pews. Former Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey spoke of France's great ability to inject humor and bring smiles to her work, yet she always had the ability to "make us feel special." Several times he brought the crowded church sanctuary -- and nearly 100 others seated in an extra wing watching the service on closed circuit -- to laughter, reminiscing about France and her husband, former NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr. He told the story of how the couple would often find itself waiting in a long line to go up the elevators at Daytona International Speedway . Track workers offered to escort the Frances around the line, but Betty Jane always refused to get in front of anyone else. Bill France , Ritchey said smiling and drawing laughter, might have politely gone along with his wife's wishes, but probably would have preferred the short cut. Several times he used the word, "impact" in describing France's many contributions. And that was the decided theme injecting Betty Jane France's sunshine this cloudy Thursday morning. Brian France also addressed the church and spoke eloquently and lovingly of his mom, reminding, "Her life was a gift to us.’" He shared the three things that seemed most important to Betty Jane -- her family (her marriage, children and grandchildren), her devotion to the local community, and her commitment to the NASCAR community at large. He graciously thanked all the people for caring and for coming and told the congregation, "we should all be so lucky" to have lived as his mother did. After the nearly hour-long service at the Seabreeze United Church of Christ, people mulled around, shaking hands, smiling and sharing their Betty Jane stories of generosity and goodwill. "Betty Jane was charming, beautiful, intelligent and she played her role in NASCAR to perfection," Waltrip said. "She was the right person to do all she had to do. "Just a great lady." And as the track presidents mingled with business leaders and community members shook hands with Petty and Waltrip, there was a prevailing sense of gratitude to Betty Jane, for all she has done and all she inspires us to do.
Betty Jane France passes away
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2016) -- Betty Jane France , a philanthropist in support of children's health causes, passed away Monday evening. France is the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the former Betty Jane Zachary was the widow of the late NASCAR Chairman and CEO William C. France , who passed away in 2007. Betty Jane France was executive vice president and assistant treasurer of NASCAR and the chairwoman emeritus of the NASCAR Foundation. "Last night, the NASCAR family lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend and the light that guided the sport's charitable arm," said Brian France . "My mother taught us incredible values, that of love, patience, compassion and joy. She embraced life every day, and nothing fueled her passion more than children. Her unmatched efforts in building The NASCAR Foundation improved the lives of millions of children throughout this country. And because of that, her legacy will live forever. "My father leaned on my mother throughout his life, relying on her wisdom and calming demeanor to help grow the sport of NASCAR. She was there, every step of the way. When we lost my father, her positive presence remained, as she used her immense skill to grow NASCAR's heart and soul, The NASCAR Foundation. "Our family thanks you for all of your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. My mother was a special woman, and an impressive person, and she will be dearly missed." France became chairwoman of The NASCAR Foundation upon the foundation's inception in 2006. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, the foundation is an entity that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR Family and its commitment to serving communities. MORE: Learn more about the NASCAR Foundation The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide, recognizing outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of NASCAR fans, was created in her honor in 2011. France was a longtime community leader in Daytona Beach, Florida and best known as a steadfast champion of health care for children. She assisted in the establishment of "Speediatrics" children's care unit at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach and at Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Florida. In 2003, France was presented the Halifax Medical Center Foundation’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of her advocacy, commitment, support and advancement of numerous area community service organizations including the Volusia/Flagler chapter of the American Red Cross. She was a member of the Junior League of Daytona Beach serving on boards of numerous area community service organizations. In July 2008, she was named as an honorary co-chairperson for the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, a project headed by longtime NASCAR team owner Richard Childress in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.
Decals to honor Betty Jane France this weekend
PHOTOS: Remembering Betty Jane France Teams in all three NASCAR national series are paying tribute to Betty Jane France this weekend with special decals on their vehicles. A NASCAR spokesperson said the decals -- which read "A Champion of Women's and Children's Health" beneath France's initials -- were issued to Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series teams in Saturday morning inspections both at Darlington Raceway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park . France , the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy, died Monday evening. Her life and her impact on countless others were celebrated Thursday at a memorial service in Daytona Beach, Florida. France was remembered with a moment of silence during pre-race ceremonies ahead of Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series event at Darlington. Ben Kennedy , France's grandson and a competitor in the Camping World Truck Series, paid tribute with his grandmother's name above the passenger door of his No. 33 truck at Mosport. France was known as much for her diligence in philanthropic efforts as her prominence in NASCAR's first family. The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, presented by Nationwide, has honored fans making a difference in their communities since its inception in 2011.
Betty Jane France leaves lasting legacy, in NASCAR and beyond
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Perhaps the only thing more striking about Betty Jane France than her perpetual smile was the vast size of her compassionate heart. Married to the late NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr., Betty Jane was interested in more than just running the family's famous racing business, although she helped with that, too. She was equally as concerned with caring for the people in the business -- and beyond. That was evident in the many personal relationships she held so dearly and the people she would touch through decades of devotion raising money for charitable works. France , who passed away Monday, was the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy. She touched countless lives with her commitment to children's causes, such as the "Speediatrics" children's care unit at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach -- where a bronze statue of her likeness stands just outside the hospital tower that bears her family's name -- and at Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Florida.
Brian France applauds close racing, but always looking to improve
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France spoke on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about how the sport is always looking to improve competition so tight battles and close finishes can continue to play out on track.
Brian France talks state of the sport
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France talks about the state of the sport on NASCAR RaceDay on FS1 before the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
Remembering Betty Jane France
Betty Jane France , a philanthropist in support of children's health causes, passed away Monday evening. France is the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy.
Brian France , league commissioners lead social responsibility in sports conversation
Bottom row, from left: Adam Silver, commissioner of NBA; Robert D. Manfred, Jr., commissioner of MLB; Kathy Milthorpe, chief financial officer, LPGA; Don Garber, commissioner of MLS; and Brian France , chairman and CEO of NASCAR. Top row, from left: Craig Harnett, chief financial officer for NHL; Dennis Di Lorenzo, Harvey J. Stedman dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies; Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL; and Arthur R. Miller, associate dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. " Photo courtesy of Mark McQueen/NYU • • • NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France and the Commissioners of the NBA, NFL, MLB and MLS, led a group from across nine major professional sports leagues Monday at New York University to collaborate on social responsibility in sports. The industry summit was hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. The intent of Monday's summit was to bring forth league leaders to exchange ideas in an open forum, and also to explain each sport's own commitment to social responsibility. "We are privileged that nine sports organizations, including NASCAR, have participated in this important discussion on the Social Responsibility of Sports at the NYUSPS Tisch Institute summit," said Tony Ponturo, director of industry relations, NYUSPS Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. "We thank Brian France , Chairman and CEO, for his participation, which underlines his leadership in and his commitment to this ongoing dialogue." France , who was joined by Commissioners Roger Goodell (NFL), Rob D. Manfred Jr. (MLB), Don Garber (MLS) and Adam Silver (NBA), discussed NASCAR's wide range of social responsibility programs such as the NASCAR Foundation and NASCAR Drive for Diversity operated by Rev Racing. Monday's event is the latest example of how the leagues are joining forces when it comes to social responsibility. In 2015, NASCAR joined the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and others to partner with RISE, a non-profit started by Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross to promote diversity and equality through sports. France was named to the Board of Directors. The nine leagues represented Monday at NYU include: LPGA, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA and WNBA. "We are grateful for the leagues' open cooperation and encouragement throughout this initial research phase," said Arthur R. Miller, associate dean of the NYUSPS Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. "With the information we have acquired, we hope to help them move forward in a constructive way in using Social Responsibility of Sports as a game changer for the industry."