Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
That’s the sentiment of NASCAR chairman Brian France in a recent interview with the Arizona Republic in which he said he’s grown accustomed to criticism, even if it leaves him frustrated. The wide-ranging conversation featured France dishing on his public political statements and leadership style — plus a scathing article in the Wall Street Journal that basically labeled him an ineffective figurehead.
“A lot of things piss me off, but I’ve got thick skin,” France said. “I know where we’re going, and I’m also a student of other sports. That may make me a little unique in our business because I study all the time.
“I don’t have an overabundance of cocky attitude because I’m collaborative. I have a good sense of what we need to do.”
Both the Wall Street Journal story and several NASCAR veterans have accused France of skipping meetings and not being visible during his 15 years in charge of the sport. But the story in the Arizona Republic essentially works as a rebuttal to the WSJ article, and it includes complimentary remarks from numerous NASCAR team owners and officials.