NASCAR will continue to push forward without Brian France, at least for the foreseeable future.
“I can’t look into the future and see what that’s going to look like,” soon-to-be NASCAR president Steve Phelps said Wednesday when asked if France would be returning. “Brian is doing what he needs to do at this particular point. We’re focused on what we need to do at this point.”
France is on an indefinite leave of absence from the sport to “focus on my personal affairs” after his Aug. 7 arrest in Sag Harbor Village, New York for aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone). It was reported last week that France has pleaded not guilty and his next scheduled court date is Oct. 5.
In the meantime, his uncle Jim France has been named NASCAR chairman and CEO.
The sanctioning body has been quiet about France and his future. However, the “interim” title for Jim France was conspicuously absent from a recent press release from NASCAR, and Phelps did not use the word when referencing Jim France during a gathering with the media on Wednesday.
And when it comes to another part of NASCAR’s future following reports earlier this year a stake in the sport was for sale, Phelps said he didn’t have anything new to add.
“What I will say is that, if you’ve been at a racetrack you’ve seen Jim France there,” said Phelps. “From the moment that he was announced as the Chairman and CEO of NASCAR replacing Brian, he has been at the racetrack, and he’s at the racetrack three and four days every single week.
“Jim France, Lesa France Kennedy are committed to this sport, and they will continue to have their hand on this sport for a long, long time.”