Concord, NC, United States (4E Sports) – NASCAR chairman Brian France has rejected a proposal to move a Sprint Cup race from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Las Vegas.
“We have gotten a long way with our position in motorsports because we’ve had historically important events, like this weekend, that happen every year that people can count on,” France said during Saturday state-of-union address at CMS.
“That said, for one reason or another, a certain market is not performing as well, it may be a better opportunity. We’ve seen that in the last five, six years or longer. We’ll take a look at it. My preference would be to keep the event here in Charlotte.”
France made the reaction after Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith announced that there was a 70 percent chance he would seek to move the October Chase race from CMS to his 1.5-mile track in Sin City.
The move would leave the hub of NASCAR with only one point race, the Coca-Cola 600 in May, and the All-Star race held the week before.
However, France said during a there have been no discussions with Smith or SMI, but stressed that his preference is to “make the events where they are more successful.”
Also, France said negotiations for a new television contract that would go into effect in 2015 are “getting down to the last bit of it.”
France said his hope is to renew with the current broadcasters. Fox already has renewed from 2015-2022 for a reported $300 million a year. ESPN and TNT are the other current partners while. NBC also is a player for a major portion of the 36-race schedule.
“My hope is to remain where we are,” France said. “But that’s why you have negotiations and discussions. We’ll have to see how that plays out.”
Despite being pleased with the performance of the new “Gen 6” car, France didn’t rule out changes that will improve the overall racing and passing.
“We want to see a more fair balance where the best drivers and the best teams on a given night who race just a little bit harder, make just a little bit bigger effort,” he said. “That’s the hallmark of NASCAR. We boldly say that.”
France added that there will be no new venues when the 2014 schedule is released later in the year.