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NASCAR Chairman Brian France hints at rule changes for 2016

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400

during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 7, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Todd Warshaw

While a NASCAR official stated last month that next season’s rules package could be similar to this season’s package, NASCAR Chairman Brian France hinted at changes during an interview Sunday with Fox Sports 1.

Asked about the the current rules package and if he anticipated more rule changes for next year, France told FS1: “Well, we’re not done yet. That’s the number one thing. I realize it’s easy to say, ‘Well, stay where you are. Things were pretty good.’ But our job is to make the better and have closer, tighter racing, where some teams that don’t have the budget of the size of some of the bigger teams have a better shot to win and compete. That’s what we’re trying to do.

“Are we happy? We’re never happy because whatever package that we come with, the drivers and teams are trying to game that package and gain an advantage on that. That’s what they do. They’re great at it. But my sense of it is we’ll be coming with some things that just keep marching toward our goal of tighter, closer, lower-cost racing, and that’s what our fans want.”

France also talked to FS1 and reporters at Pocono about the new drivers council and NASCAR’s first meeting with the group last weekend at Dover (France was not in the meeting).

“The first thing is we’ve been doing a lot of that in the last four or five years anyway,’' France told Fox Sports 1. “We’ve got an OEM council, we meet with the car manufacturers, we have track meetings that we didn’t have before, we have owner meetings that we didn’t have before. So, needless to say, the most important stakeholder in our sport, besides our fans, are our drivers. That’s a good thing for us to hear in a more formal setting some of the things that are on their mind. It was a good meeting. It was a good discussion.”

Asked what drivers are specifically talking to NASCAR about and what they’re asking for, France told Fox Sports 1: “They just can’t agree. They can’t agree because they’re competing with one another, and so what feels good to one driver in terms of the style of racing doesn’t feel as good to another.

“More downforce, less downforce, more grip, less grip. All those things they may agree while they’re sort of talking quietly, but once they get with us, it’s ‘Whoa, don’t do that. Do this. Do that.’ We make the decision on what’s good for everybody but we need their input. That’s what the council and the better collaboration is (for) because whatever decision we make, we can’t get enough good information.”

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