France Questions Move By Owners
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on July 21, 2014 | 6:44 P.M. EST
NASCAR Chairman Brian France questioned the formation of the Race Team Alliance in an interview Monday on "SiriusXM Speedway." (Photo: Getty Images)
NASCAR Chairman Brian France says he doesn’t think the Race Team Alliance is necessary and that having one centralized voice of car owners is “a bad idea.”
France discussed the RTA and other topics Monday on “SiriusXM Speedway” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Much of France’s time on the show dealt with the Race Team Alliance, which was announced earlier this month. The alliance features nine NASCAR Sprint Cup owners, including Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Roger Penske and Jack Roush.
Rob Kauffman, chair of the RTA and co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has stated in interviews that the alliance’s goal is for car owners to find ways to work together to cut costs, noting travel and insurance expenditures.
To that, France said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “They’re smart guys, they may figure out some things that we’re not aware.’’
Otherwise, France isn’t convinced the alliance is worthwhile, especially the RTA speaking to NASCAR on behalf of each member.
“That would probably be the worst thing we could ever do is to listen to one voice even if it were a consensus voice,’’ he said. “In every decision that we have ever made that is important, the more input, the more people we heard from the better results. That will never change in the business model of NASCAR because good ideas come from all over the place. That’s the strength we have.’’
France repeatedly said during the interview that it would be “business as usual” for NASCAR even with the RTA’s formation.
“They’re entitled to approach their business in certain ways,’’ France said. “We’re going to respect that. But we’re going to go down the road of dealing with all the team owners, not most of them, not the big ones, all of them.
Although the RTA has not expressed a desire to negotiate a different percentage of the TV package (teams receive 25 percent, tracks 65 percent and NASCAR 10 percent), France was asked on “SiriusXM Speedway” if the TV package payout could be altered.
“No,’’ France said. “They’re set for historical reasons and because it’s the right allocation. Everybody would like to have more. The tracks would, anybody else would. That’s natural. I think they’ve made mention that they don’t have any desire to do that. We’re business as usual. We’re focused on building better relationships with all the teams owners all the time. We don’t always get it perfect, but I think our communication is better than ever.’’
France also was asked about other topics, including how close NASCAR is to finalizing the new engine package.
“We’re accelerating that but it’s a ways off, and we will balance, as we always do, phasing in and out certain equipment,’’ he said. “Cost will be a huge deciding factor on where we end up and how fast we can go, but we’ve got to lower the cost to supply engines. It’s too high.’’
France also was asked about the 2015 schedule. He said it isn’t finished but hinted at changes.
“There’s not going to be a dramatic change but there may be some things that are a little different,’’ he said.