NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France is obviously pleased with the tight Chase for the Sprint Cup race this season. Officials have stated that the sanctioning body is considering changes to the format this season, could a close race between the top three contenders entering the final two races alter their decision?
FOXSports.com asked France about the status of potential changes to the format that has 12 drivers racing for the title over the final 10 races of the Cup season.
FOXSports.com: Where do you really stand on changes to the Chase? Have you given it any more thought? As strong as we’ve seen this field this year – has that helped change your mind or sway you at all?
Brian France: Uhh, no, not really. I think we’re going to look at it over the offseason. We’re no different than we were a month ago. We’re going to see how this plays out and if we have something to announce it’ll be probably in January.
FOXSports.com: You’ve got to be thrilled though (with this year’s Chase)
Brian France: Oh, absolutely. I said on the radio that they (Hamlin, Johnson and Harvick) are three of the best and have had the best years. So it’s kind of a deserving deal. It could change tomorrow. Hopefully it will. Hopefully we’ll have a lot of excitement and a lot of drama down to the finish. But absolutely, we like how this Chase is turning out.
FOXSports.com: Could that keep it status quo? Don’t fix it if it’s not broken?
Brian France: I suppose that’s always possible. We’re not going to make a change on one year though, any more than we would have changed it because we had three or four consecutive years with Jimmie winning it all. So we won’t look at one year, we’ll look at what would be good over many, many years and we’ll see.
FOXSports.com: So Jimmie Johnson’s four or five championships, if there is five, that still weighs heavy on your mind?
Brian France: No, that’s an earned thing. That’s a wonderful, dynasty part of history. So we’re not changing it to deal with Jimmie’s success. … It’s not about that we don’t like the idea that somebody can win four or five in a row – frankly, that makes historical things happen. We’re good with that. It’s just can we put more playoff-style atmosphere into the Chase – we’ll have to see.
FOXSports.com: What did you think of Carl Edwards going up to celebrate with the crowd Saturday? Would your dad just have absolutely loved that moment?
Brian France: I loved that moment. It’s a lot of enthusiasm. Sure, that’s what we want. We want more of that. You hear us say that. We’re going to let things play out where hopefully the drivers feel like they can express their emotions – that’s a good thing.