Sun., June 7, 1992 – While the NASCAR premier series was in Sonoma, Calif., to compete on a road course, William H.G. France, founder of the auto racing sanctioning body, passed away at his home in Ormond Beach, Fla. He was 82.
• An auto mechanic by trade, France was on his way from Washington, DC to Miami in 1934 when his car broke down in Daytona Beach, Fla. It was there he and his wife, Anne B., would remain for the rest of their lives. He eventually began promoting races on the beach as well as competing in them. As the public’s interest in racing grew, France realized the need for uniform rules and organization. In December of 1947 he met with track owners, promoters and others in racing to iron out the details to what would eventually become NASCAR.
• France ruled NASCAR from those early years until 1972 when he turned the organization over to his sons William Clifton (Bill Jr.) and Jim France. Bill Jr. served as president until November of 2000; Jim France has helped guide both NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., the publicly-traded arm that owns several NASCAR-sanctioned tracks, in a less public role.
• Jim France was named CEO and Chairman of NASCAR after serving in the role on an interim basis in 2018.