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France said NASCAR is “very encouraged” by increased television ratings across its three national series - the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series.

He also pointed to attendance gains at a number of venues.

“While we are still in a tough economic climate that is still difficult, we are pleased with some positive steps we saw last year,” he said.

NASCAR did make some changes off the track this week.

They announced Wednesday they’ll make all fines public in the future, a change from past years where they were kept secret.

The big changes for NASCAR will come in 2013.

That’s when the re-styled NASCAR Sprint Cup cars from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota will make the sport more relevant to manufacturers and technology companies. Ford earlier this week unveiled its 2013 Fusion prototype with the other original equipment manufacturers to follow in the near future.

A closed test of the cars is scheduled early next month with additional testing to follow before final specifications are drawn.

“This is certainly a milestone in our sport,” said Pemberton. “We’ve worked very closely with the manufacturers on the new car and the four new models are simply outstanding. I think the fans are going to love them and it is going to be such a positive step in helping our race cars become more and more relevant with our fans past, present and future.”

France pointed to initiatives begun a year ago including a simplified points structure in all three national series and a “wild card” twist in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup that placed a greater emphasis on race victories.

All of that culminated in what France called “a championship battle that will be talked about for decades to come.”