With four drivers ready to race for the Sprint Cup title this Sunday in South Florida, NASCAR Chairman Brian France has a right to feel pleased as punch.
The new Chase has been an exciting one, marked by aggressiveness and desperation to win or at least finish well enough to advance on. The format was designed to squeeze these particular elements out of the drivers, and it’s working.
“It’s clearly emphasized winning at the level that we thought it would,” France said during last night’s NASCAR AMERICA Homestead Special on NBCSN. “I think some of the drivers’ performances in terms of being aggressive didn’t surprise us, but it’s certainly reflective on win and your in and getting eliminated from one round to the next, so it’s doing exactly what we wanted it to do – bring out the best performances from our teams and our drivers.”
However, not all of the Chase excitement has been generated for good reasons such as “walk-off” wins for Brad Keselowski at Talladega and Kevin Harvick last week at Phoenix. Post-race brawls at Charlotte and again at Texas have also given NASCAR attention it doesn’t particularly want.
For more on France’s thoughts on that subject – plus the prospect of Ryan Newman taking the Cup without a race win and his own expectations for Sunday’s grand finale – check out his full interview with NASCAR AMERICA’s Rick Allen in the clip above.