NASCAR News: Crew Member Misses First Race In 26 Years; Brian France Leads Social Responsibility Summit

NASCAR News: Crew Member Misses First Race In 26 Years; Brian France Leads Social Responsibility Summit
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NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France join other major professional sports league commissioners to promote social responsibility in sports.


This industry summit brings together nine major professional sports leagues in the U.S., including the NBA, NFL, MLS, MLB and NASCAR. The event was held Monday at the New York University as it was actually hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. The goal is simple but challenging: to bring together leaders from various sporting leagues in order to discuss and exchange ideas regarding social responsibility in sports while in an open forum. Moreover, these leaders also discussed how they would fulfill their commitment to the said cause.

During the summit, France was joined by Commissioners Roger Goodell for the NFL, Rob. D. Manfred Jr. for the MLB, Don Garber for the MLS and Adam Silver for the NBA. While in the forum, the NASCAR chairman and CEO talked about the NASCAR Foundation as well as the NASCAR Driver for Diversity, which is operated by Rev Racing.

Last year, NASCAR had also joined forces with the NFL, NBA, MLB and others for RISE, a non-profit organization that was founded by Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross. Its goal is to promote diversity and equality through sports and France was actually appointed to its Board of Directors.

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Meanwhile, last Sunday proved to be a rather historic moment for crew member Andretti Smith of Wood Brothers Racing. It was actually the first race that he had missed since he had started the job back in October 1990. As a veteran crew member of 24 years, Smith has done it all. He’s carried and changed tires. He’s gassed cars. And now, he’s handing in the second gas can from behind the wall. This latest job of his is actually what got him in a slight trouble.

“I tore my biceps at the top of the shoulder and 50 percent at the elbow. It happened handing in the second can during the Vegas race,” Smith explained. This forced Smith to miss Sunday’s race at the Phoenix International Raceway.

When asked how he felt about not being there though, it seems Smith didn’t mind missing one race too much. “Honestly, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I went to buy my little girl some T-ball pants and went to her practice,” he said. Smith still managed to catch the race, however. He hope to be back on track as early as Martinsville.

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