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Brian France

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing

Brian France
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Wikipedia: Brian France

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Biography
Article Index
Born: 2 August 1962

Chairman of the Board and CEO of NASCAR beginning in 2003.

Biography

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Brian France page on 19 September 2019, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Brian Zachary France is an American businessman who is the former CEO and Chairman of NASCAR serving in the post from 2003 to 2018. A third generation executive in the sport of stock car racing, France followed in the footsteps of his grandfather (and NASCAR co-founder) Bill France Sr. and father Bill Jr. in running NASCAR. Time magazine named him one of the "100 Most Influential of the Century" in 2006 and he was named one of the five most powerful sports executives by The Sporting News in 2005.

France grew up in the racing world, learning the logistics of NASCAR from a young age; though he was able to enter the family business, he did not have a trust fund. His first job in racing was as a janitor at the Talladega Superspeedway. France studied at the University of Central Florida but did not earn a degree. Following his first few years of classes, he instead entered the NASCAR company in order to learn the family business.

France managed several short tracks, including Tucson Raceway Park in Arizona in the earlier years of his career. He also ran the NASCAR Entertainment Division in Los Angeles during the 1990s, creating associations between NASCAR and the entertainment industry. This included Hollywood films and projects advertising on NASCAR vehicles, the appearance of actors and other entertainers during NASCAR events, and NASCAR figures themselves becoming integrated into reality television, television dramas, cartoons, soap operas, Hollywood feature films, music videos, and mass paperback novels. In 1995, he became the creator of the Craftsman Truck Series, which was launched from the competition department under his tenure there. Following this he became the head of the marketing department, where he endeavoured to grow the product's youth audience, and began to move the company away from its title sponsor Winston cigarettes in order to facilitate this. His final position before becoming CEO was executive vice-president; he was also on the board of directors.

In 2003, France was named NASCAR's Chairman of the Board and CEO by his father, who preceded him. One of his first actions was to create a new rule that drivers were no longer allowed to race back to the start/finish line when under caution. After assuming control of NASCAR, France negotiated a title sponsorship from Sprint Nextel. He also introduced the Chase for the Sprint Cup over the transition period, receiving a $4.5 billion television contract for the initial ten race seasons, in addition to a later multibillion-dollar deal with NBC. Part of the Chase was to award more points to significant or "spectacular" wins instead of consistent winning, as NASCAR had previously done, introducing it as a form of "post-season" for the sport. He also made an effort to expand the audience base of NASCAR to minorities, and allowed Toyota vehicles to begin competing on the NASCAR circuit. He has also overseen NASCAR during a period of ratings drops, as well as attendance going down 15% over the period of his tenure, despite record television deals.

On August 5, 2018, France was pulled over by the Sag Harbor, New York police after driving through a stop sign in the Hamptons, and subsequently arrested for DUI and possession of a controlled substance, later revealed to be Oxycodone. After his release, he announced that he would be taking an "indefinite leave of absence" from his role as CEO and chairman of NASCAR. It was later deemed permanent in 2019, with Jim France going on to take over the job permanently as chairman of NASCAR.


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
19 June 2003NASCAR Media ConferenceTim Donahue
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Brian France
Bill France
15 September 2003NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Bill France
20 January 2004NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
14 May 2004NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
24 January 2005NASCAR Media Conference: A Look Back & a Look AheadKurt Busch
Brian France
Kasey Kahne
Mark Martin
Richard Petty
Darrell Waltrip
28 June 2005NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Jeff Gordon
8 October 2005NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
11 November 2005NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
25 January 2006NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
Gary Nelson
Tish Sheets
18 February 2006NASCAR Busch Series: Hershey's Kissables 300Clint Bowyer
Brian France
Tony Stewart
6 March 2006NASCAR Hall of Fame Press ConferenceMark Dyer
Brian France
Mike Helton
Rick Hendrick
Pat McCrory
29 June 2006NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Jimmie Lee Hunter
22 January 2007NASCAR Media ConferenceBrett Bodine
Brian France
Mike Helton
Marcus Jadotte
Robin Pemberton
13 February 2007NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
3 July 2007NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
7 July 2007NASCAR Media Conference: Sprint Cup Series AnnouncementBrian France
Tim Kelly
Dean Kessel
Tom Murphy
3 October 2007NASCAR Media ConferenceJoe Balash
Brian France
James Lyski
Steve Phelps
21 January 2008NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
Marcus Jadotte
Robin Pemberton
George Silbermann
23 October 2008NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Marcus Lemonis
9 November 2008NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
11 November 2008NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
22 January 2009NASCAR Sprint Media Tour ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
Marcus Jadotte
Winston Kelley
Jim O'Connell
Steve O'Donnell
Robin Pemberton
Steve Phelps
15 May 2009NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
3 July 2009NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
7 October 2009NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
David Hill
David Levy
John Skipper
20 November 2009NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
21 January 2010NASCAR Media Tour PresentationWayne Auton
Joe Balash
Richard Buck
John Darby
Brian France
Mike Helton
Robin Pemberton
23 May 2010NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Bill France, Jr. (Part 4/6)Ken Clapp
Brian France
Lesa France Kennedy
Rick Hendrick
23 May 2010NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction CeremonyBrian France
Lesa France Kennedy
2 July 2010NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
16 October 2010NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Bob Owens
Robin Pemberton
19 November 2010NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
2 December 2010NASCAR Media ConferenceJeff Broin
Wesley Clark
Brian France
Bart Schott
2 December 2010NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
26 January 2011NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
20 May 2011NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
23 May 2011NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Bud MooreBrian France
Barney Hall
Bud Moore
9 October 2011Betty Jane France Award Presentation ConferencePatty Aber
Jake Bernstein
Brenda Doner
Brian France
Sandy Marshall
Robert Weaver
18 November 2011NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
26 January 2012NASCAR Sprint Media TourJoie Chitwood, III
Brian France
Mike Helton
Marcus Jadotte
Robin Pemberton
19 May 2012NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Jimmie Johnson
Nick Keller
Juan Pablo Montoya
Steve Phelps
23 May 2012NASCAR Media Conference: NASCAR Hall of Fame AnnouncementBrian France
Brett Jewkes
6 July 2012NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
17 November 2012NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
22 January 2013NASCAR Media ConferenceJoie Chitwood, III
Brian France
Mike Helton
Steve O'Donnell
Robin Pemberton
25 May 2013NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
23 July 2013NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Steve Herbst
Mark Lazarus
13 September 2013NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
14 September 2013NASCAR Media ConferenceBrian France
Mike Helton
Robin Pemberton
11 April 2015Random Lugnuts: Trying Too Hard (A Defense of Brian France and NASCAR)">Bill Crittenden
29 February 2016Donald J. Trump Endorsed by NASCAR CEO and DriversDonald J. Trump for President, Inc.


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