Bill France, Sr.
Called “Big Bill,” only partly because of his 6 foot, 5 inch stature, France spearheaded NASCAR from its beginning and directed it to its present status as the world’s largest stock car racing organization.
- Inducted: 2010
The Founder of NASCAR
In 1936, he helped lay out the first beach/road course in Daytona Beach; in the first race on the course he finished fifth.
Starting in 1938, he helped promote races on the sands of Daytona Beach.
In 1947, France became the driving force behind the establishment of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR, it was called, resulting from a famous meeting at the Streamline Hotel on State Road A1A in Daytona Beach—a structure that stands to this day, as a racing landmark. “Big Bill” France passed away in June 1992. He left behind a lasting legacy.
William H.G. France, also known as “Big Bill,” founded NASCAR in 1948. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
In 1950, NASCAR Hall of Famers Bill France and Curtis Turner participated in the La Carrera Panamericana road race across Mexico. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
One of Bill France’s crowning achievements was opening Daytona International Speedway in 1959. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.