International Speedway Corporation announced that William ("Bill") C. France, 74, ISC's Chairman, passed away in Daytona Beach, Florida on June 4. Effective immediately, ISC Chief Executive Officer James ("Jim") C. France will assume the role of Chairman.
"For over four decades, Bill stood at the helm of a growing national phenomenon," said Jim France. "He successfully guided the sport into the American mainstream and elevated NASCAR racing to the pinnacle of motorsports. Bill was an extraordinary steward of the sport our father, 'Big' Bill France, founded over 60 years ago, and he led ISC on its tremendous path of success since taking the helm as Chief Executive Officer in 1981.
"Bill led the Company's extraordinary growth during his tenure," France continued. "In addition, he also established a strong foundation for the continued success of the company. He instilled into ISC's culture the insight, vision and leadership necessary for the company to continue building upon his accomplishments well into the future. Our strong management team remains in place, complemented by a fully committed Board of Directors, and we remain intently focused on successfully leading the Company into the future."
"My father will be sorely missed, not only by our family, but by all the lives he touched over his many years in the sport," said ISC President Lesa France Kennedy. "From drivers to owners to other track operators and professionals in the racing world, Bill France served as a champion for motorsports and his legacy is the renowned success that NASCAR and ISC have, and will continue to achieve."
Said Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig: "As a former Daytona International Speedway president, Bill France always kept a keen eye on the track that his father Bill France Sr. founded and built. I have been honored to have his guidance and experience at my disposal during my tenure as track president.
"Bill France was a great ambassador to the sport and under his watch, led unparalleled growth for Daytona International Speedway, International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this time."