A well-reported story in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal raises interesting questions about NASCAR’s leadership.
Mainly, should Brian France still be in charge?
Using four sources, the WSJ reported France, NASCAR’s chairman and CEO, sold his stake in NASCAR to other family members “more than a decade ago.”
“As a result, these people say, Mr. France essentially works for his sister (Lesa France Kennedy) and uncle (Jim France) even though he is NASCAR’s chief executive,” the WSJ reported. “That means he runs the sport on a day-to-day basis but is supposed to seek approval from Ms. Kennedy and their uncle for major changes.”
The WSJ said Brian France did not inform his sister — who is in charge of International Speedway Corp. — before enacting a policy against Confederate flags in the infield. The story also said Kennedy learned of her brother’s public endorsement of Donald Trump by watching the news.
By his own admission in the story, France said he only attended roughly half of the Cup races last season.
In addition, the WSJ reported France did not attend a crucial December meeting between “racing-team executives, drivers, track operators and TV executives” in Las Vegas.
So based on this reporting, we know NASCAR’s CEO makes rogue decisions, does not show up to the majority of the races and is not very engaged in key planning for the future — all while presiding over the biggest decline in the sport’s history (the WSJ said TV viewership is down 45%).
After the WSJ report, it also appears confirmed France does not own a stake in NASCAR.
Kind of crazy, huh?