The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

NLVWIContributor IJuly 30, 2009

The only "good" in this story is the fact that after this NASCAR/Mayfield mess is settled. No other driver should be treated like Mayfield has.

I would think like in the past, NASCAR will settle out of court. They can keep any dangerous precedent from being set and at the same time try to hide the exact conditions of the settlement.

The "bad" is the way NASCAR has manipulated the media. They have people like Marty Smith and Jeff Hammond screaming guilty of Mayfield, before the case is even heard. As for the stepmother and other alleged witnesses, that's pure baloney.

The "ugly", this is the good part. Seems Brian has a very dark past. We all know about his drunken driving problems, but then again he has never been ticketed for them. I had always heard these rumors about Brian and his drug use, but could never find a source to check them out.

Until now, Dirt Under the Asphalt, by Jack G. Flowers (RoseDog Books 2009) Below is just a sample from it.

“All the stuff presented in this book was acquired over a period of time and the majority of it is stuff that NASCAR had people too afraid to write about, in fear of having credentials pulled so they couldn’t write about the sport they cared about”.

“Also, the promise of payoff is far greater than the alternative and give NASCAR credit, it found out real early that the best way to control a media is to keep it fat and happy and taken care of, monetarily.

They must not have cared too much about this sport or they would have stopped and taken a look around them and went from there”.

“But people in motorsports are so blinded they can’t see the forest for the trees and I’m afraid that’s how it always will be”.


"Now, NASCAR is doing everything it can, in a controlled way, to clean up it's drug image although its CEO, Brian France, who has been connected with drugs on more than one occasion.

In the late '90s, I wrote a story in Speedway Scene, a weekly motorsports trade publication, that accused Brian France, son of Bill France Jr., of checking into the Betty Ford Clinic, near Los Angeles, Calif., for drug rehabilitation. NASCAR called me on the carpet for the story, but never did anything, except having my publisher, Val LeSieur, to call Betty Jane France, Brian's mother, and apologize for the story. All the time, the rest of them, gathered at that meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla., were laughing.

Later, I was told by a high-ranking NASCAR executive, no longer employed by NASCAR, the only thing wrong with the story was that Brian France had checked into the Betty Ford Clinic for drug rehabilitation, but under an assumed name. I never have been able to find out that name to this date.

A nurse called me and said she had worked for the Betty Ford Clinic at the time Brian France checked in. None of the staff knew who France was because he wasn’t using his real name. Now that NASCAR has two Cup races at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and since France has made it clear he wants a National Football League (NFL) franchise for Los Angeles, his picture is widely circulated in the area in daily newspapers and on TV.

“That’s how we found out,” said the nurse. “A group of us were sitting around one day, watching TV for some reason and they showed Brian France. We didn’t know him by that name. We knew him by another name. But no mistaking it, it was the same man, regardless of the name. “While he was in the Clinic we treated him for drug abuse. He was quite strung out when he got there.”


On another occasion in the ‘90s, Brian France was stopped by a South Carolina state trooper, who charged France with drug possession. Jim Hunter, now NASCAR’s vice president of communications and president of Darlington (S.C.) Raceway at the time, was able to to get the South Carolina state troopers to drop the case.

But now, since NASCAR took the Southern 500 Nextel Cup race on Labor Day weekend from Darlington and moved it to California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., there are some law enforcement officials in the state of  South Carolina who are more than eager to discuss France’s stature in that state and what occurred a few years back.

 “It’s no doubt we picked up Brian France,” said the state trooper, “just outside of Columbia (S.C.). He had just flown in on a plane and had rented a car and was on his way to Darlington. I was by myself that morning, but had to call in a supervisor for what I found. “We found drugs and other paraphernalia in the car, but we were told to drop it that this was Brian France. “For a couple of years or so, we received all the tickets, and more, anytime there was a race in Darlington. “We did some checking and found a pile of other charges, drugs and what not, facing Brian France.


Such is similar the situation in Arizona where Dennis Huth, a one-time high-ranking NASCAR executive, since let go, baby-sat Brian France while employed at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway, a NASCAR-International Speedway Corp. (ISC, controlled by the France family) property. Brian France was using drugs and continued to do so while in Arizona until Arizona officials called the France family in Daytona Beach and asked to have him out of the state and never let him come back and all would be forgotten.

Brian France was back in Daytona Beach.


And on and on the book went. It's HOT STUFF. It’s just loaded with dirt on NASCAR. I just downloaded it from RoseDog cost $5.00, it comes as a pdf, 40 pages long or you can buy the soft cover for $9.00.  I could not stop reading it !!!


I make negative comments toward NASCAR, because I know what the sport used to be. I've been a fan for 50 of my 62 years. I want to remain a fan, it's just that I know things can be better.


Since Brian has taken over, things have gone sour. If Bill Sr. or Jr. were handling this Mayfield mess, it would have been taken to the side and dealt with. All this negative press would have been avoided. Brian France has lost touch with the hand that feeds him, the fans. I've seen too many rules bent, twisted, or ignored depending on who you are.


Heck, it’s not even stock car racing anymore. All the cars are the same except for decals. There’s no brand loyalty, the Ford, GM, and Mopar battles are over.


I can't believe how arrogant and brainless this Brian person is. His grandfather and father give him something that was once the greatest sport in America and he steadily takes it down hill. Do you see the empty grandstands and the sagging TV ratings?


TV ratings, you can't blame that on a poor economy, if anything, ratings should be going up if people are staying home or maybe they just don’t care anymore.



When you have a family owned business, how do you get rid of the person that runs it?  Well that’s simple, you bring in some more family. Lesa France Kennedy has been quoted as saying “I would like to be more out front”.


She certainly knows the business. She is CEO at the France family-run International Speedway Corp., the world's largest and most influential racetrack operator. If she were to come forward and replace  Brian, maybe then we will get this sport back to the heights it once was.


I, for one think she has the talent to do it, but I believe she’s got to get rid of Helton and a few others. In other words do a little house cleaning.


Sure would be nice to see good old fashioned stock car racing in the U.S.A. again! There is stockcar racing out there, but you have to catch a broadcast from Australia. They call it the V8 Supercar, ESPN or FOX would do well if they covered them more. Marcus Ambrose came from that circuit and is doing a great job.


I’m hanging in there for now, but I am losing my patience!