That's 4 more times France tried to convince everybody that NASCAR is so wonderful that even its minor league is more popular than any other form of racing out there. Only problem is, it's not even close to true.
Take away all those Cup drivers -- the Busch Whackers, as they've been dubbed in recent years -- participating in Saturday's glorfied 2-plus hour practice session known as a Busch race, and what are you left with? A bunch of guys nobody's ever heard of competing in a series without an identity of its own.
It was comical when France directly referred to the Series' identity, recalling fondly the day that David Gilliland "beat the best that night in Kentucky" to jump into the national spotlight. Only problem was, Brian, Gilliland didn't "beat the best that night." In fact, as is usually the case with those few Busch standalone races, he beat a less than stellar field -- one dotted with a few Cup drivers instead of littered with a dozen or more of them.
What, is France auditioning for a job with MRN? Don't get the facts get in the way of a good sales pitch, eh, boss?
Heck, NASCAR's own Craftsman Truck Series is a better division than the Busch Series -- with better racing, a clear-cut indentity and its own distinct following from the fans and media. The Busch Series can't say that.
If Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick and a bunch of the sport's other marquee stars ceased racing on Saturdays, would the fans still fill the grandstands or tune in so intently to the television for these races? It's unlikely.
One begins to think that if those drivers took Saturdays off once the red flag flew on final practice, the Busch Series would fall well below the Indy Racing League or even the World of Outlaws in terms of fan interest.
I don't know about you, but I don't have a whole lot of interest in watching the Kyle Krisiloffs of the world battle Stephen Leicht and Brent Sherman in for 200-mile wins. I just don't.
But strip away what makes the No. 1 form of motorsports in America -- Cup racing and its star power behind the wheels -- and that's exactly what you've got in the Busch Series.
And now it's going Nationwide with no more of an identity than it had 2 years ago.