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NASCAR’s Brian France on RTA’s formation: “We didn’t think it was necessary”

Jul 21, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT

Brian France AP

Two weekends ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, NASCAR president Mike Helton said that, for now, there was no ill will between the sanctioning body and the consortium of multi-car Sprint Cup teams known as the Race Team Alliance.

But today, in a wide-ranging interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Helton’s boss – NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France – addressed the RTA’s formation by saying “we didn’t think it was necessary.”

“We think the benefits they would arrive at with this association would be much smaller than they do,” France continued. “They’re smart guys and they may figure out some things that we’re not aware of.

“But on balance, I would say two things – one, the idea that they don’t know how many employees they have or what their costs are and this is a way to tackle that, that’s terrific. We certainly want them to get those kinds of answers for sure.

“The one thing that is central to NASCAR though, is when you deal with one voice, that would probably be the worst thing we could ever do – and that’s to listen to one voice, even it was a consensus voice. Every decision that we’ve ever made that was important, the more input, the more people we heard from, the better the result.”

France answered another question by stating that while NASCAR would respect the owners involved in the RTA being “entitled to approach the business in different ways,” the sanctioning body planned to “go down the road dealing with all of the team owners – not most of them, not the big ones, but all of them.”

“…Whenever we do something – and we’re working on all kinds of things now – these are never simple things,” he added. “Drivers, crew chiefs, engineers – we always pick their brains on things because it’s not always black or white if we go one way or that way on whether it actually lowers costs or it actually improves racing.

“The last thing we would want to do is not talk to everybody so where we can find where the truth lies.”

This month’s emergence of the RTA, which is made up of nine of the sport’s most powerful teams, has generated a wide range of opinions.

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, drivers for RTA squad Hendrick Motorsports, insist that the group’s efforts will help the sport. On the other side, race track owner Bruton Smith has expressed his annoyance.

So far, the RTA has remained silent on its long-term agenda outside of creating cost-cutting initiatives for its members. Its chairman, Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman, has said that the RTA wants to take a collaborative stance with NASCAR.

“…That’s the high road and the right road, so why do anything other than that?,” Kauffman said in a recent interview with NBCSN contributor Nate Ryan.

“There are other questions that are obvious and will be resolved over time. To the extent we’re a party to those, we’ll try to be productive and collaborative. We’ll see how it plays out. It makes for a less exciting story, but a better business.”

  1. barrylibby - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    The most important words are,”we didn’t think” !

    That is why RTA is a rarity.

    • 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      Nope. Try again.

    • barrylibby - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      That was sup[pose to be “reality”

      • 4wheeldrifter - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        Rarity works also!

  2. convincedofthehex - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    And everyone else who is a true fan of racing doesn’t think the France family is necessary.

    • 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      So now you’re gonna decide for everyone what a “true racing fan” is.

  3. techmeister1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    It’s odd that CRASHCAR has taken the position that the RTA is a drivers association aimed at taking some control from them vs. a team association looking at all possible commercial rights possibilities. Either the RTA is being very sly or CRASHCAR feels intimidated – which might be a good thing.

  4. 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Tech knows what’s up.

  5. matt33fl - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    More proof that Brian France is a short-sighted, obstinate dictator! He misses the point of what the RTA is about, that it IS ALL the owners speaking in ONE VOICE! With that knowledge, it would be unnecessary for BF to meet with each individual team owner, if he can simply meet with the RTA if he wanted to get their opinions. But we all know that he has already made up his mind that the status quo suits him just fine! Brian France is the Kim Jong-un of American motorsports!!

  6. 4wheeldrifter - Jul 22, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Is ANYONE really surprised at France’s statement? He knows that ANY changes RTA manages to achieve will mean less income, and more importantly to him, less power. Gee golly whiz, Brian might be forced to sell one of his yachts, or, God forbid, one of his personal planes! Of course on paper, they are owned by NASCAR, but Brian France IS NASCAR, and never lets anyone forget it.

    BTW, is that a picture of a pig looking for a frog to kiss in order to to turn into a prince???

  7. wethog66 - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    If the RTA gets more diversity track wise in the Chase (short tracks and road coarses), and reduces the amount of mile and a half tracks on the schedule as a whole, it has my support.

    NASCAR needs more mile, half mile and road tracks, and as many Saturday night races as possible, and the variety of tracks needs to be represented in the Chase. Do those things and NASCAR will be fun to watch again.

  8. indycarseries500 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Of course not, he only attends the two races at Daytona and Homestead. If he doesn’t think it’s necessary to show up in the garage area how is he supposed to know what the teams think is necessary?

  9. charger383 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Brian France is the reason it is necessary

  10. charger383 - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Brian France is reason RTA is necessary

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