The White Zone: It’s time to remove Brian France from the reigns of NASCAR

by Tucker White On Mon, Aug. 06, 2018

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 01: Steve Phelps, Brian France, Mark Hall and Mitch Covington toast during a press conference as NASCAR and Monster Energy announce premier series entitlement partnership at Wynn Las Vegas on December 1, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Monster Energy, which will begin its tenure as naming rights partner on Jan. 1, 2017, will become only the third company to serve as the entitlement sponsor in NASCAR premier series history, following RJ Reynolds and Sprint/Nextel. Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

We’ve had six weeks of positive energy from great racing and a truly momentous victory by possibly the most popular driver in NASCAR today. And what is the big story nearly 24 hours removed? It’s the arrest of the sport’s leader for drunk driving.

If you’ve not heard by now, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France was arrested last night in Sag Harbor, New York for driving while intoxicated and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

By no means is a DWI/controlled substance arrest a conviction (legally speaking). With that said, however, you can’t allow the head of the sport to behave in such a manner. Especially considering he was cited for “Aggravated DWI,” which in New York means you supposedly had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level more than double the level at which you’re considered legally intoxicated.

What isn’t up for debate, however, is that France’s decision to drive intoxicated just two hours after Chase Elliott scored his first career victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen International not only stalls the optimism and positive momentum that been built up over the last six weeks, but puts the sports back in the spotlight for the wrong reasons yet again. Outlets that don’t regularly talk about NASCAR are picking up this story, rather than Elliott’s momentous victory from yesterday.

And it’s even reached the shores of England.

This was one of many missteps by France over the years, from his short-sighted decision to publicly endorse Donald Trump for president to the way he handled the Confederate Flag dilemma after the racially-charged mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June of 2015. The missteps also extend to his time as Chairman and CEO of NASCAR, most notably his atrocious handling of the series of run-ins between Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano in October of 2015.

Furthermore, and no matter how hard he or any executive in the big office in Daytona spin or dance around it, NASCAR’s biggest — and ongoing — decline in TV ratings, viewership and attendance have happened under France’s leadership.

These many embarrassing moments and poor leadership demonstrate why France is unfit to continue on as Chairman and CEO of NASCAR.

NASCAR is bigger than any single person, especially the people who run the operations. No amount of relation to the founder and his successor should excuse the fact that Brian acted in a manner unbecoming of the head of a company, particularly an automotive-centric company.

If this isn’t grounds for termination, what is?

That’s my view, for what it’s worth.

SEE ALSO: Elliott Scores Much Anticipated First Cup Win at Glen

SEE ALSO: Chase is winless no more

SEE ALSO: Brian France arrested for DWI and possession of controlled substance

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