The White Zone: It’s time to remove Brian France from the reigns of NASCAR

We’ve had six weeks of positive energy from great racing and a truly momentous victory by possibly the most popular driver in NASCAR today. And what is the big story nearly 24 hours removed? It’s the arrest of the sport’s leader for drunk driving.

If you’ve not heard by now, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France was arrested last night in Sag Harbor, New York for driving while intoxicated and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

By no means is a DWI/controlled substance arrest a conviction (legally speaking). With that said, however, you can’t allow the head of the sport to behave in such a manner. Especially considering he was cited for “Aggravated DWI,” which in New York means you supposedly had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level more than double the level at which you’re considered legally intoxicated.

What isn’t up for debate, however, is that France’s decision to drive intoxicated just two hours after Chase Elliott scored his first career victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen International not only stalls the optimism and positive momentum that been built up over the last six weeks, but puts the sports back in the spotlight for the wrong reasons yet again. Outlets that don’t regularly talk about NASCAR are picking up this story, rather than Elliott’s momentous victory from yesterday.

And it’s even reached the shores of England.

This was one of many missteps by France over the years, from his short-sighted decision to publicly endorse Donald Trump for president to the way he handled the Confederate Flag dilemma after the racially-charged mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June of 2015. The missteps also extend to his time as Chairman and CEO of NASCAR, most notably his atrocious handling of the series of run-ins between Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano in October of 2015.

Furthermore, and no matter how hard he or any executive in the big office in Daytona spin or dance around it, NASCAR’s biggest — and ongoing — decline in TV ratings, viewership and attendance have happened under France’s leadership.

These many embarrassing moments and poor leadership demonstrate why France is unfit to continue on as Chairman and CEO of NASCAR.

NASCAR is bigger than any single person, especially the people who run the operations. No amount of relation to the founder and his successor should excuse the fact that Brian acted in a manner unbecoming of the head of a company, particularly an automotive-centric company.

If this isn’t grounds for termination, what is?

That’s my view, for what it’s worth.

SEE ALSO: Elliott Scores Much Anticipated First Cup Win at Glen

SEE ALSO: Chase is winless no more

SEE ALSO: Brian France arrested for DWI and possession of controlled substance

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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