NASCAR chairman Brian France identifies biggest ‘challenge’ facing the sport in 2016

Even in the Phoenix desert, Mother Nature was none too kind to NASCAR in 2015. 

Jonathan Ferrey

Speaking during Tuesday’s opening day of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France was asked to identify what he sees as the biggest challenge facing the sport in 2016.

France’s response — though not exactly shocking — might be considered at least mildly surprising, and was certainly a tad comical.

"Rain, rain, rain, rain," said NASCAR’s third-generation leader. "It really is. I’d like to give you some detailed concern I have, but the truth is that the racing … is good. The tracks are on board. We’ve embraced digital and social media in a way that we’re trying to be leaders in this area. We have young and up-and-coming drivers. We’ve got a (Chase) format that we can build on for the next decade or longer. So there is no pressing thing that I would like to see get resolved."

Rain last season forced two Sprint Cup Series races to be postponed by a day, and led to lengthy delays for numerous events — even in the fall at reliably dry Phoenix International Raceway.

"We can’t do anything about the rain, other than we can probably add some more Air Titans over time to speed (drying) up, but hopefully we’ll get a little break on that in 2016," France said.