NASCAR Chairman Brian France visited Wednesday with “Sirius Speedway” host Dave Moody on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and discussed a number of topics.
Here’s what France said:
On granting the waiver to Kyle Busch that a driver must start every race to be eligible for the Chase: “We felt that back in Daytona that it would certainly have been helpful to have a SAFER barrier in the location that he had an accident. I said that was on us and the speedway took responsibility for that. We thought, at the time, we had every spot that we needed to have covered. Obviously, we didn’t. We’ll never know what the exact role not having that SAFER barrier played. Obviously, it wasn’t helpful. We take responsibility for that and when that happens we need to sort out what are the options within reason … that we can get things back to a fair playing field for Kyle. That’s the general thinking of how we ended up with the decision that we made.’’
On if there is a concern that with Kyle Busch’s waiver that he could make the Chase and win the title despite missing more than one-third of the season: “It was certainly part of the decision process. What we determined in this case is that you still have to finish strong in the remaining events leading up to the Chase, you have to win a race and you’ve got to perform in the final 10 where it matters the most anyway, so there is plenty of merit if Kyle, in this case, is able to accomplish all of that, then he will be a fine champion should he be able to do all of that.’’
On weight of driver comments when NASCAR looks to formulate 2016 rules package: “It matters. I think if you look at the testing we do together, they’re very helpful. We get good input and then we filter it. We have to filter it. We realize that a car that Tony Stewart may like isn’t necessarily going to give us the closest, tightest competition or where there may be a cost factor that is prohibitive. It’s very important but at the same time they’re individuals and they have their own individuals interests. What we want is really simple. We want a package that generally speaking gives us much closer competition, more lead changes, more drivers that have an opportunity to get up and mix it up if they’re good enough, if their team is good enough.’’
On not using the 2016 rules at the All-Star race as officials once hoped this year: “That would have been our preference, but in the testing we did leading up to this weekend, we didn’t feel like we had made enough improvements on a specific package to go forward with something. We’re still working on it. We’ll be done here shortly.’’
On why NASCAR has not explained exactly what was done to Ryan Newman’s tires that led to the penalty: “The teams that compete, we communicate that all the time to them directly about what the infraction is. They’re interested because they don’t want to make the same mistake. There’s plenty of communication that goes on, as it always has been.’’
On if it is a priority for the fans to know: “Sure. We always try to be transparent with that. We’ve explained the penalty very clearly, and, by the way, Richard Childress Racing has explained their position as well. There’s enough discussion that goes on, but there’s highly technical matters, too and it’s kind of difficult sometimes for us to put everything in context because it’s very complicated and technical. I don’t expect our fans to have that much curiosity to want to get into the weeds that much, but if anybody does there’s certainly ways to do that.’’