Brian France watches on during the NACAR Hall of Fame Voting Day at NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina
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Brian France Gets Real About Disgraced NASCAR Exit: "I Don't Like a Messy Ending"

The Dale Jr. Download podcast wrapped up its 2022 season last week, and they sure scored a doozy of a guest for the finale. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his co-host Mike Davis welcomed Brian France, the former NASCAR CEO whose 15-year tenure unceremoniously came to an end after he was arrested on August 5, 2018 for DUI and possession of oxycodone.

Obviously the conversation turned to the immense fallout from that ill-fated night in Sag Harbor, New York (which I'll get to in a minute), but France and Earnhardt also took some time to chop it up about the ins and outs of NASCAR, both in current times and when France was running the show. France gave his two cents about everything from Ross Chastain's wall-riding move at Martinsville ("I don't think there's anything to regulate there. You applaud that and move on.") to his uncle Jim France, NASCAR's current chairman and CEO ("He's in his prime now. Everyone should have an uncle like Uncle Jim.").

And, of course, comes the thing that everyone loves to see from a ex-sports CEO: the big admission. That came in the form of France admitting the flaws with the "Car of Tomorrow."

"We were a little bit cavalier about that," France said. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but it's nice to see that he actually said what a lot of people were certainly thinking at the time.

Okay, now for the elephant in the room: Brian France's disgraced exit as NASCAR CEO back in 2018. France didn't shy away from talking about that night and its unfortunate implications, which included his indefinite leave of absence (that ended when Jim France took over his job in February 2019) and him pleading guilty to one count misdemeanor DUI on June 7, 2019.

"Obviously, made a mistake on that evening," the 60-year-old France said. "Made a mistake, can't happen, a mistake like that. It did happen. It's on me. That's just something you can't do. It happened and life goes on."

In a moment of positive self-reflection, France added, "I've got a lot of gratitude in my life."

"Things have really worked out for me. That obviously was a dark moment. Caused me to look at some things that I was doing in my life that could've been done a lot better. My health, number one."

Rather than focusing on the mistakes that led to his departure as NASCAR's head honcho, France has spent a lot of time looking at the positives and everything that he accomplished during that time.

"I'd had a 15-year run as the CEO. That's a long time," Brian said. "I don't like a messy ending like that. No one likes that. But I have to tell you, I couldn't be any happier with what I'm doing now and being able to look back at what we accomplished."

So, just what is Brian France doing now? Since 2019, he has been running the show at Silver Falcon Capital, a private investment firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Clearly, things are working out for the Daytona Beach, Florida native.

"I'm working only with people I want to work with, and doing only what I want to do," France said. "You unload those obligations you have to do. It's not a criticism of the (NASCAR) job, it's just the reality. I'm out from under all that. I'm having a lot of fun, it's a good balance. Life is good for me."

MORE: Brian France Once Put Tony Stewart in His Place, and the 3-Time Champ Actually Agreed With Him