Breaking Down Brian France's First Decade as NASCAR's CEO

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Breaking Down Brian France's First Decade as NASCAR's CEO
John Harrelson/Getty Images
Brian France has been one of the most progressive leaders in professional sports during his 10-year tenure at the helm of the sport. His accomplishments far outweigh the disappointments in his tenure.

Brian France's 10th anniversary as NASCAR's Chairman and CEO came and went last month. And in typical France fashion, the milestone was marked with subdued notoriety and little fanfare.

Brian's father, Bill France Jr., yielded the keys to the sanctioning body and the sport to his only son in 2003 when the elder France became ill. The man known as "Little Bill" passed away in 2007.

Even before he began his current tenure as NASCAR's leader, Brian France played a pivotal role in developing the sport into what it is today, including devising the Chase for the Sprint Cup format, overseeing the succession of R.J. Reynolds' sponsorship with the Winston Cup to the Nextel Cup and then the Sprint Cup and laying the groundwork for several national TV packages that have followed and brought in more than $12 billion to the sport's coffers.

NASCAR remains one of the most-watched sports on television and has weathered a difficult financial climate for the past six seasons.

Let's take a look at France's tenure at NASCAR's helm—the good and bad—as well as look ahead to what the future potentially holds for the sanctioning body, the sport and France himself.

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