NASCAR Media Conference
December 2, 2010
BRIAN FRANCE: Thank you and good morning all.
Let me give a few special welcomes. First Brad Keselowski is with us. The Nationwide Series champion is with us somewhere in the audience. Todd Bodine, the Camping World champion is with us, as well. And then a number of track operators who host the events are with us, a number of our other drivers, valued sponsors, certainly our friends at sprint, and some new partners we're going to be excited to talk about later in the show are all with us, as are other members of the industries.
We're all here celebrating what is clearly the most competitive, best year in NASCAR on the track. There's no question about it. The numbers tell the story. But your eyes verified the story. We all saw the most incredible, tight Chase for the Championship all the way down to the wire in a come-from-behind and a fifth championship in a row by Jimmie Johnson. Truly incredible.
Let me just say that in January, we talked about the season, as we always do, the rules packages, what we were thinking about. And as always, there are periods in NASCAR's history when we can overregulate, we can overthink things. It's possible, believe it or not. We're human. We talked a lot about opening it up, about making sure that the competitive part on the track, the mixing it up, the things that everybody has come to know as America's premiere motorsports series is what it should be.
Then I remember in January having our press conference and talking about some of the things we were going to do. Robin Pemberton stood up and said the now very infamous words, 'Boys, have at it.' I said to myself for a moment, hold on, that's not in our script, that's not in our plan. But you know what, in a good way he was right. That's exactly what this sport needed to transition and take another good step towards.
The result was from the start of the Speedweeks throughout the season, you saw the level of come up. I told the group who host our Chase drivers every year in New York before the Chase I knew it was going to be the most competitive because I knew there were a number of teams that really believed going into the final 10 races they had a legitimate chance to win. They felt that way.
What I also told them was that this is a special time because you can't always count on being with a team that you're with, being in the position you're in, and if you're Jimmie Johnson to win an unprecedented incredible five championships in a row. Obviously that may never be duplicated by him or anyone else.
Just take a moment and realize what a special sport you're competing in, what a special time it is for you and your teammates, and certainly the car owners.
I think they did. I think they went on to demonstrate incredible performances that are going to be great memories for a long time.
I particularly am interested by Kevin Harvick and his tremendous charge. I just saw Denny back behind a minute ago. I thanked him for the performances, the efforts they made. They didn't just try to go out and compete hard, they went out and tried to win races right then, beat somebody right then. That's what big-time sports is all about.
So we had the most competitive, best year in NASCAR. We'll have the biggest audience tomorrow night in attendance that we've ever had, the most fans, which is a great thing. We'll celebrate Rick Hendrick, Chad Knaus, and those five championships in grand style tomorrow.
Rick, congratulations on what can only be described now as a dynasty.
Thank you very much.
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