Denny Hamlin Has Flattering Words for Former NASCAR CEO Brian France

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Now that the season is over, Denny Hamlin has some more time to do other things. Like tweet and listen to podcasts about NASCAR. Just like thousands of fans, Hamlin listens to the Dale Jr. Download and this week on the show, it was former CEO and Chairman Brian France.

The grandson of Bill France Sr., the founder of NASCAR, led the sport through the 2000s and 2010s. Although things ended on a sour note, with personal issues leading to France resigning and handing control over to his son Jim. However, years removed from the personal controversy, he is ready to talk about things.

Denny Hamlin let his opinion be known. It is a bit of a hot take for many fans. For a section of the fanbase, Brian France is the reason the sport lost popularity over the years. After listening to the interview with Dale Jr., Hamlin had another take on things.

When you talk about NASCAR you cannot ignore the France family. Bill France Sr. and Jr. led the sport to the mountain top. Under their leadership, it was born and turned into a purely American product that represented so much. It was under France Jr. that the sport was taken internationally.

However, Brian France had a harder task at hand during his tenure. Taking over in 2003, France had to guide the sport in a post-Dale Sr. world. That’s a heavy task. There was a bigger focus on driver safety. From barriers to how caution laps were handled.

It was under Brian that the TV ratings peaked and massive billion-dollar deals were made for TV rights. The playoff system was introduced, which for many was a mistake. But is Hamlin right, should we give France more credit?

Denny Hamlin Turns to 2023 After Falling Short Again

The offseason is a time to reflect and a time to rest. Denny Hamlin seems to be doing a little bit of both. Unfortunately for the No. 11 team, it was another season of falling short. After Ross Chastain pulled the move of the century at Martinsville, Hamlin was eliminated from the Championship 4 picture.

However, if there is anyone who is going to come back more determined than ever it is Hamlin. He knows that his time is only getting shorter, not longer. There are no illusions about his age. That doesn’t mean that he can’t do what he has never done before. Another year in the Next Gen car for one of NASCAR’s greatest could produce some amazing results.

For right now, Denny Hamlin will take time to recover and rest up before another grueling year of the NASCAR Cup Series. February isn’t that far away.