An Interview With: Brian France

NASCAR Teleconference Transcript – Brian France

HERB BRANHAM: I’d like to welcome all the media to our weekly NASCAR teleconference in advance of Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

That will be the 18th race of the 36-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, and the second event in the Race for the Chase. The Race for the Chase is a 10-event span that precedes the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the season’s final 10 races, and ultimately decides the series champion.

We have a very special guest for today’s call. It’s NASCAR’s chairman and CEO Brian France.
Brian, thanks for joining us today. Perhaps if we could start off with a quick assessment by you on how this season has gone thus far, and then we’ll go right to questions from the media.

BRIAN FRANCE: Thanks, Herb. Good afternoon, everybody.
First, I want to thank everybody on the call, and frankly the fans across the country, all over, that have reached out for our family when my father passed. There was an enormous amount of support we felt by the whole industry. We’re very grateful for that. Lots of nice stories and reports done, reflecting what my dad accomplished in his reign at NASCAR. Thank you all for that.

I’ll transition now into kind of where I think we are. As Herb said, we’re exactly the midpoint here in our season. I will tell you that all important goals that we set out at the beginning of the year, we’re either meeting them or exceeded them. Car of Tomorrow being the most important one, all benefits we hoped we would get, better competition, the safety elements – fortunately we haven’t had to fully test that yet – and certainly the cost side of it, as you see so many teams now running the same car.

Kevin Harvick has run the same Car of Tomorrow in nine different events, including the road course. Our vision of how we thought that was going to go has gone very well. In fact, so well, as everyone now knows, we’ve accelerated the launch fully for 2008 at every NEXTEL Cup event.

We couldn’t be more pleased with that. It was very complicated. A lot of cooperation with the teams. I want to tell you that that went well.

I want to welcome back TNT, who is covering our action including this weekend here, the mid summer package. Like what they’re doing. They have a very innovative new strategy coming up this weekend broadcast, commercial-free, wide open as they call it. We’re all interested to see how well that’s going to do and looking forward to it.

ESPN here shortly will pick up the remaining events, including the final Chase events on ABC. Love what they’ve done already with the Busch Series, all the ancillary programming. When the Brickyard kicks off, they’ll kickoff. So excited about ESPN.

Many of you know that I was myself, some of our senior management group, was in Asia and China specifically looking at the new track in Shanghai, talking to some people about international opportunities in the Far East. Nothing to report other than every time I get on the road and talk to people they’re very familiar with what we’re doing, like our style, like our brand of racing, lots of interest.

We’ll be careful of how we proceed, but we’ll be looking at building our international platform with our event now coming up next month in Montr

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