NASCAR Cup Series
Five questions that need answers
NASCAR Cup Series

Five questions that need answers

Published Jan. 22, 2009 9:58 p.m. ET

No matter what spin is used by the PR flacks from the sport's governing body, teams or even some members of the media, there's no denying this has been a tumultuous offseason for NASCAR.

On Thursday, we will finally get a chance to get an official response from NASCAR's top brass about the issues plaguing the league. From the crippling economy to the competition side of the sport, there are plenty of topics where fans deserve to hear from the head honchos themselves.

Below is a list of five issues we hope get addressed by NASCAR Chairman Brian France, President Mike Helton and the other dignitaries that will meet the press at the final event of the 2009 Lowe's Motor Speedway Sprint Media Tour — the annual preseason NASCAR sneak peek held around the Charlotte, N.C., area.

Got questions for NASCAR's bosses? Join the conversation here and let us know.

Who's the boss?

Speak up


You've read what we think NASCAR should answer. But what do you think? Got questions of your own you want answered? Let us know here.

This sounds like a simple question; unfortunately it is anything but: Who's steering the ship for NASCAR? With all the hope and optimism that is in this country with the new presidential administration, where is the spark we are missing in NASCAR?

When you have a leader like Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress or Jack Roush who are there with you in the trenches week in and week out, you are going to work harder for them. They are every bit as much the boss as they are the father figure of the company, the motivator of the company, the common sense, the heart, the soul of the company.

Who is that person in NASCAR?

While the answer will likely point to the current chain of command, with chairman Brian France up top, the person steering the ship should have every bit as much passion for running the sport as the people who spend their hard-earned money to sit in the stands every weekend.

Unlike his father and grandfather, Brian France just doesn't fit that bill. No time was it more evident than when he stated last December that he "will not have a 30-year run like my father for a variety of reasons. We have so many talented people in this sport, (which) I think wears you out. I don't think you're effective for 30 years."

Does that sound like somebody that is as passionate about the sport as the fans in the stands?

Let's assume the France family wants to keep NASCAR under its control, why not put Lesa France Kennedy in charge? She is considerably more like her father, Bill France Jr. — she is pragmatic, passionate, has a good head on her shoulders and a good head for business. Certainly, the personal losses France Kennedy suffered in 2007 had a tremendous effect on her and the sport, but she would be better suited as the head of NASCAR.

Or is that person Jim France? The younger son of NASCAR founder William G. France shares the first and second generations' love of motorsports but despises the limelight. Insiders say Jim France's work behind the scenes has been invaluable, but we're still waiting to see the person behind the curtain.

Somebody has got to stand up and take charge, somebody who can rally the troops and infuse enthusiasm to fans. That person is currently not in charge of NASCAR.


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