Sabates thinks France unfairly blamed for NASCAR's downturn

Kyle Larson at Bristol Motor Speedway

Busch had a media event Tuesday in SC for Darlington Raceway and said he hopes France's issues don't "affect NASCAR in a negative way".

NASCAR announced Monday that France would take a leave of absence from his role as Chairman and CEO after he was arrested Sunday night by Sag Harbor (New York) Police. The arrest comes at a time NASCAR is desperately trying to stop a slide in popularity. Regardless of his role in NASCAR going forward, it's important that he's healthy and that he takes care of himself.

Brian France was released Monday morning then shared later in the day he was taking a taking an open-ended leave of absence from the auto racing company to deal and sort out his personal affairs. "It's a great sport and we go forward and we all should be very protective of it and be willing to lend a helping hand". He knows the ins and outs of what's going on to this very minute in the sport, has been around the sport for a long time.

The owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc. has called on all NASCAR stakeholders to rally around the series following the arrest of Chairman and CEO Brian France. Kevin Harvick does not know Jim France very well but he knows that the new interim CEO is a former driver who has strong relationships with numerous NASCAR team owners.

Police pulled over France on Sunday night in Long Island, New York. Smith told The Associated Press that it's imperative for participants to support the series. At this point in time, NASCAR needs friends and people that will help. "I expect them to do fine, and it doesn't change my job, so I'm going to do my thing".

"It will be important for NASCAR leadership to reassure key partners that the sport is in good hands and is positively moving forward", said Poston, who is now president of consulting firm Tuckahoe Strategies.

So it is basically business as usual for NASCAR, and that's exactly the way it should be, said longtime France family adversary Bruton Smith.

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Kevin Harvick also offered his best wishes to Brian France.

Brian France has retreated from the spotlight the last two years as NASCAR has struggled with attendance and television rankings.

The recent arrest of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France has left many fans and racing figures wondering about the future of the sport.

The head of the most popular racing series in the US spent the night in jail - a punch to the gut for a series reeling from slumping attendance and television ratings, and a decline in blockbuster sponsorship deals.

Another big name, Felix Sabates, part owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, told the AP, "We need to find it in our hearts to forgive Brian for his mistakes".

Sabates said team owners and drivers share equal responsibility in pushing the series to skyrocketing spending and share the burden with NASCAR in turning it around. She said she also watched as France "fell over his own feet" as he got out of his vehicle. He was replaced by his uncle, Jim France, 73, who is the younger son of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.

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