A family affair
The France family and the Hulman-George family were honored Saturday with the Bob Russo Founders award for dedication to auto racing, in a ceremony during Speedweeks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Bill France Sr. founded NASCAR in 1947 and later built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Son Bill France Jr. took over as NASCAR’s president in 1972 and was the driving force into making NASCAR the country’s most popular racing series.
Bill France Jr.’s brother Jim France recently brokered the unification of U.S. sports car racing, and his son Brian France is NASCAR’s chairman and CEO. Daughter Lesa France Kennedy is chairperson of International Speedway Corporation.
The Hulman-George family has been synonymous with IndyCar Racing and Indianapolis Motor Speedway since Tony Hulman purchased the track and resumed the running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1946, after a hiatus for World War II.
Long-time NASCAR executive Ken Clapp accepted the award on behalf of the France family.