KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - NASCAR chairman Brian France says he's optimistic the sluggish economy will not cause lasting problems for the sport.
France says negotiations already have started with Sprint to remain the title sponsor of NASCAR's top tier. He also says the ``five or six'' teams that may close because of the economy will create opportunities for other teams to rise to the Cup level.
France spoke before Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway.
The outlook is far better on the track, where the top nine drivers in the Chase were separated by just 19 points coming to Kansas. France says the bunched standings has helped television ratings, particularly in the younger demographics, which he views as a key to the sport's future growth.

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Jimmie Johnson +800

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