Everybody Loves Lists
Guess who barely sniffed the top 50 of the 100 most powerful people in sports? That’d be big, bad Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula One. Guess who came in No. 6? That’d be Brian France, the chairman and CEO of NASCAR and basically the equivalent of Ecclestone in the United States.
Ecclestone was ranked 57th in the recent BusinessWeek Power 100 poll — a subjective experiment certainly geared toward American sports. But we have no problem that the stubborn old man whose arrogant paddock scoffs at oval-track racing came in behind four names from NASCAR — France, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (23rd), Roger Penske (54th) and Jeff Gordon (56th).
Bernie, 20 insiders from the sports world apparently think F1 is, well, rubbish. (He doesn't look very happy about it, does he?) What they do think is that NASCAR is kind of a big deal, as Jack Roush (62nd) and John Henry (65th), Tony Stewart (74th), Bruton Smith (84th), Joe Gibbs (93rd) and Lesa France Kennedy (98th) all made the list. Any mention of Formula One ends with Ecclestone.
Check out the list at http://www.businessweek.com/table/07/0926_power100.htm.
PS: Check out Brian Vickers on “Inside Nextel Cup” (8 p.m. ET on Speed).