Pit Notes: France Discusses State of Sport; Dillon on Winning the Pole
BRIAN FRANCE DISCUSSES SPORT: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France visited the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center Saturday for what amounted to a "state of the sport" discussion and question-and-answer session with the media, touching on everything from the evolution of the Gen 6 car to the Drive for Diversity to the Air Titan.
Despite discussing many subjects, France said his main point in addressing the media was to highlight the recent hiring of Gene Stefanyshyn as Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development. France said Stefanyshyn will be based at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord and will focus on improving the racing product and fan experience.
"What we've decided is to get more separation between inspecting the cars and running the races every weekend and developing the rules packages of the future and other related items," France said. "And we'll be going in a direction … that we'll be using a lot more science than art in establishing the very thing that matters most, which is safety of course, but also putting ourselves in a position to have the closest, tightest competition possible. And that's what Gene's task is. It's harder than ever to do, by the way. But that's our goal; that's our mission."
France then addressed questions from the media, including adding new tracks to the schedule ("We like our mix of historic big events at venues we race year in and year out."), the possibility of future Double Duty feasibility ("It's harder to do now … We don't have an active discussion about that."), the recent reduction of penalties possibly undermining the series' authority ("That's what you have when you have a true appellate way to resolve differences."), an assessment of the Gen 6 car ("It's good; Do I think we can improve the quality of racing in terms of our core goals? Sure."), the possibility of moving the fall Charlotte race to Las Vegas ("They have not asked us to look at realigning an event, and they certainly could; my preference is to keep the event in Charlotte."), and the availability of the Air Titan ("It's available for every track; the cost to implement it at every track is an issue"), among others.
HISTORY 300 POLE WINNER QUOTE
Austin Dillon (No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet): "The temperatures out there are pretty hot. So we'll just try and do whatever we can to make sure our car is balanced, and stays the same as it is. It's a good car. The guys did a good job of sticking to a plan. And that is what it is all about here, and this place can really trick you in a heartbeat. With the temperature changes, you saw a lot of people loose. We tried to stick to our game plan, and it worked out for us. (How did you pull off a lap like that?) I just stayed in the fuel. The person who stays in it the longest and gets off the corner the best, always does. So that's a good one for us here at Charlotte and home."