Betty Jane France passes away
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2016) -- Betty Jane France , a philanthropist in support of children's health causes, passed away Monday evening. France is the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the former Betty Jane Zachary was the widow of the late NASCAR Chairman and CEO William C. France , who passed away in 2007. Betty Jane France was executive vice president and assistant treasurer of NASCAR and the chairwoman emeritus of the NASCAR Foundation. "Last night, the NASCAR family lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend and the light that guided the sport's charitable arm," said Brian France . "My mother taught us incredible values, that of love, patience, compassion and joy. She embraced life every day, and nothing fueled her passion more than children. Her unmatched efforts in building The NASCAR Foundation improved the lives of millions of children throughout this country. And because of that, her legacy will live forever. "My father leaned on my mother throughout his life, relying on her wisdom and calming demeanor to help grow the sport of NASCAR. She was there, every step of the way. When we lost my father, her positive presence remained, as she used her immense skill to grow NASCAR's heart and soul, The NASCAR Foundation. "Our family thanks you for all of your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. My mother was a special woman, and an impressive person, and she will be dearly missed." France became chairwoman of The NASCAR Foundation upon the foundation's inception in 2006. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, the foundation is an entity that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR Family and its commitment to serving communities. MORE: Learn more about the NASCAR Foundation The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide, recognizing outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of NASCAR fans, was created in her honor in 2011. France was a longtime community leader in Daytona Beach, Florida and best known as a steadfast champion of health care for children. She assisted in the establishment of "Speediatrics" children's care unit at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach and at Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Florida. In 2003, France was presented the Halifax Medical Center Foundation’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of her advocacy, commitment, support and advancement of numerous area community service organizations including the Volusia/Flagler chapter of the American Red Cross. She was a member of the Junior League of Daytona Beach serving on boards of numerous area community service organizations. In July 2008, she was named as an honorary co-chairperson for the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, a project headed by longtime NASCAR team owner Richard Childress in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.
Drivers, others send condolences to France family
Drivers and other members of NASCAR Nation offered their condolences to the France family after learning of Betty Jane France's passing. We all miss you grandma. Thank you for being you still can't believe it #neverforgotten ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0l9dGcK9MC — Ben Kennedy (@BenKennedy33) August 30, 2016 Betty Jane France was an awesome lady. Always charitable. A true advisor over the years to Bill Jr. during major growth in our sport. RIP — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) August 30, 2016 Our sport lost another great woman today. Betty Jane France will be missed. — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) August 30, 2016 Thinking of the France family this morning. @chandrajanway and I loved visiting with Betty Jane, we will deeply miss her. @NASCAR — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) August 30, 2016 Sad to hear of the passing of Betty Jane France . The entire France family is in our thoughts and prayers. — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) August 30, 2016 So sad to hear of the passing of the queen of Nascar Betty Jane France . Every time i ever saw her she was the definition of classy... — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) August 30, 2016 @BenKennedy33 thinking about you and the family buddy. — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) August 30, 2016 Thoughts and prayers for the France family. Betty Jane was a great lady. — Kelley Earnhardt (@EarnhardtKelley) August 30, 2016 Sad news... Thoughts and prayers for the entire France family! https://t.co/jX2rZGJGta — Tony Gibson (@TonyOldman41) August 30, 2016 Let's all keep the France family in our thoughts and prayers. Betty Jane France touched many lives and will be greatly missed. — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) August 30, 2016 Thoughts and prayers going out to the entire France family and my buddy @BenKennedy33 — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) August 30, 2016 Sad to hear about Betty Jane France passing away. First Lady of NASCAR helped make the sport what it is today! @BenKennedy33 — David Ragan (@DavidRagan) August 30, 2016 Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. https://t.co/yQePTQPZNw — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) August 30, 2016 Thoughts & prayers with the France family today. Betty Jane France helped make the sport what it is today & impacted many w/ her foundation — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) August 30, 2016 Thoughts & prayers with the France family. Betty Jane did so much for the sport and to help others through her foundation. #NASCAR — Sherry Pollex (@SherryPollex) August 30, 2016 Thoughts and prayers to the France family... BettyJane did so much for so many... #pioneerofNascar — Elliott Sadler (@Elliott_Sadler) August 30, 2016 Saddened to hear of Betty Jane France's passing. Thoughts and prayers with the entire France family. — Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) August 30, 2016 Thoughts and prayers are with the entire France family this morning after the passing of Betty Jane. — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) August 30, 2016 My heart and prayers go out to the France family. Betty Jane was a wonderful person. Her legacy of caring and giving will live on forever. — Michael Waltrip (@MW55) August 30, 2016 Thinking of the entire France and Kennedy families after hearing about the passing of Betty Jane. — Dale Jarrett (@DaleJarrett) August 30, 2016
NASCAR Chairman Brian France , wife Amy honored at Angel Ball
Last night, while NASCAR Chairman Brian France and his wife Amy France were being honored for their contributions to pediatric cancer at the Angel Ball, the sport's first family could not help but think about a special day four months earlier. The Frances, through their Luke and Meadow Foundation, took child cancer survivors behind-the-scenes at Pocono Raceway in June. The courageous kids got to visit the garages before the race and hang out with their favorite drivers -- including six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson . As special as it must have been for those kids, it was also deeply moving for NASCAR's third generation chairman and his wife, who dedicated the race to cancer survivors. "As important as sports may sometimes seem, days like the one we had in June puts things in perspective and reminds us of what is truly important," Brian France said. "We were extremely humbled by last night's honor, but that is only icing on the cake compared to the difference we can make in the lives of children." Amy France was also touched when discussing the children's experience at the track. "As a parent, I was reminded that any of those children could have been my child or your child," Amy France said. "These are the moments that motivate me to contribute to cancer research. My hope is that my children, Luke and Meadow, will one day be inspired to be part of something beyond their own self-interests to make a real impactful change." The Frances, alongside supermodel and television host Heidi Klum, were honored by Gabrielle's Angel Foundation at the annual Angel Ball for their contributions to pediatric cancer research. The crowd was treated to musical performances from One Republic, Patti LaBelle and Billy Porter and many celebrities were on-hand, including Nick Cannon. Four-time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon gave a heartfelt introduction for Brian and Amy at the event. "I have known Brian since the start of my career which goes back nearly 25 years. Over that time he has become a close friend and someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for," Gordon said. "As the third generation Chairman of NASCAR, he is a bold, collaborative and visionary leader." NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar, International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy, The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ben Kennedy were in attendance. The Frances founded the Luke and Meadow Foundation, named after their 4-year old twins, in 2011 to raise awareness about charities they are passionate about. They have since supported, given their time and made multimillion dollar donations to a wide-range of causes including: Stand Up For Heroes in support of 9-11 families, Autism Speaks, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research, Providence Day School and many others. "There are so many causes that need attention, but as parents, we are particularly passionate about addressing the critical needs of children," said Amy France . "At the end of the day, we just hope to be a part of something bigger than our own family, and we believe that -- in partnership with others -- we can make a real impact." With last night's brief pit stop in the rearview mirror, Brian France returns his focus to the remainder of the season. This weekend, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the final race of the Contender Round on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Following the race, four drivers will be eliminated and eight will remain in contention to be the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion. NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France and wife Amy were honored at the Angel Ball on Monday night.
Brian and Amy France honored at Angel Ball
NASCAR Chairman Brian France and his wife Amy France were honored for their contributions to pediatric cancer at the Angel Ball in New York City.
Amy , Brian France support Parkinson's research
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and Amy France attend 'A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to Cure'
Amy , Brian France 'Stand Up for Heroes' with $300,000 donation
On the eve of Veterans Day weekend, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and his wife Amy helped raise more than $6 million on Wednesday at "Stand Up for Heroes" in New York City in support of post-9/11 injured service members, veterans and their families through the Bob Woodruff Foundation. It was the latest in a long line of examples of NASCAR going beyond the call for America's troops. The Frances and another party bid and won a special auction with items and experiences from rock 'n roll legend Bruce Springsteen. The package includes a signed guitar and an hour guitar lesson from Springsteen, who also will provide a homemade lasagna dinner and a motorcycle ride in Springsteen's side car with "The Boss" driving. This year's event surpassed expectations, besting last year's record $5 million total. Springsteen helped raise $600,000 alone with the Frances and the other party committing $300,000 apiece to the Stand Up for Heroes Fund. NASCAR has a long track record of supporting the U.S. military, dating back to its roots. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. began a tradition that continues to this day of recognizing Medal of Honor winners before the July 4th race at Daytona International Speedway . In June, NASCAR marked the fifth anniversary of its Troops to the Track presented by Bank of America initiative. Thousands of troops from local military installations across the country have been treated to customized VIP experiences which include garage tours, driver meet-and-greets and recognition during the drivers' meeting, among many other special-access activities. "NASCAR: An American Salute" is an annual tribute to the men and women who fight for our freedom. Beginning Memorial Day weekend in Charlotte through Fourth of July weekend in Daytona, teams, sponsors, tracks, the sanctioning body and its stakeholders sport special red, white and blue paint schemes and host military members and their families throughout the summer. On this Veterans Day weekend as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heads to Phoenix International Raceway , the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 as veterans, active military members and their families will be honored throughout the weekend. Like every weekend on the NASCAR schedule, the patriotic pre-race ceremony will feature an honor guard, a rousing rendition of the National Anthem and a military flyover. "It's in our DNA," NASCAR President Mike Helton said, "to help military families understand how grateful we are and to encourage our fans to do the same thing; it's evolved with the sport. Bill France Jr. and certainly Bill ( France ) Sr. were adamant about NASCAR being a voice to remind everybody that there were men and women who were making sacrifices so that we had the opportunity to do the things that we enjoy. "And a lot of it had to do with the fact that ( France Sr.) created NASCAR right after World War II ... he had a very direct purpose behind it. "But that culture was passed on and handed down; as NASCAR grew, that responsibility grew with it." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Brian and Amy France attend Parkinson’s event
Brian and Amy France as well as other celebrities talk about attending the Michael J. Fox Foundation event in New York City.
Brian France on NASCAR's framework, 2016 schedule
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said Thursday that meetings about a potential franchise system for participation in its upper series have already taken place, sparking ongoing talks with its team owners about the direction of stock car racing competition. France made the remarks during an afternoon appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Tradin' Paint" program, telling hosts Jim Noble and Chocolate Myers that improving the current framework was crucial to the overall health of the sport. "Any time we can improve the structure for our team owners, that's a good thing," France told SiriusXM. "If we can improve their business model, we can improve their overall structure, then what's going to happen is new owners will be more inclined to look at wanting to participate in NASCAR; that's a good thing. The other good thing is, the level of competition goes up because the more healthy the team owners are, the better we're going to be. "We're working alongside of all the team owners to see what's possible, and we're going to have to go down the road and keep working at it. That's very important to us." France also discussed the soon-to-be-released schedules for all three NASCAR national series, saying that teams and fans alike should not expect a dramatic overhaul to the 2016 racing calendar. "I can tell you that the schedule is not going to change materially at all," France said. "There are things in the sanction agreements with the tracks that are unrelated to the dates that have to be worked out, and that's really what we're doing now. That's taking a little longer than normal. The schedule will look very similar." With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Myers pressed France for an accelerated release of the 2016 schedules on behalf of Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who has expressed his wishes for a prompt announcement so that he might better plan his wedding to Amy Reimann. "I understand," said France , biting on the joke. "That does take precedence, so we'll make sure to put those dates right in front of him so he knows when they are." France also took time to assess the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after the Challenger Round, the opening three-round series of the postseason. In doing so, France lauded last weekend's clutch victory by Kevin Harvick at Dover International Speedway that kept his repeat title hopes intact. "What you really are seeing is, this is the era of big moments and big performances," France said. "Being consistent and steady, that's important but that's getting pushed to the wayside. It's whoever can step up their performance."
A personal mission becomes a cause for Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Finalist
In 2011, Andy Hoffman's young son Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumor. And so, in America's Heartland, the battle began for the life of one child. Soon, the situation led Hoffman's family to take on another battle of national scope, for the lives of many children. One year after the devastating diagnosis, Hoffman had T-shirts made to sell as a fundraiser for children's brain cancer research. Approximately 20,000 shirts were sold, more than $300,000 was raised. Inspiration morphed into dedication and a year later Hoffman and his wife, Brianna, formed "Team Jack Foundation" based in Atkinson, Nebraska. In the process, they confronted the fact that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer – both in surgery and chemotherapy – were more than 30 years old. A further catalyst was the obvious need for funding, for further childhood cancer research. Team Jack Foundation raises money to fund impactful pediatric brain cancer research while working to create national awareness for the disease. The long-term goal of the non-profit organization is to fund research at the top research centers in the United States and internationally with a special emphasis on the state of Nebraska and the surrounding region, where research centers are limited. "Our goal is to raise as much money as we can, as fast as we can and get that money into the hands of the best researchers in the world to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer," Hoffman said. It's happening. In 2013, Hoffman appealed to the Nebraska State Legislature for funding at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, resulting in the state matching Team Jack Foundation's commitment of $1.5 million. The foundation has raised nearly $3 million, with the funding going to five research programs across the country. In addition, Hoffman has run three marathons through which he personally raised more than $10,000. Hoffman, 37 – and a longtime Jeff Gordon fan – is one of four finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's 2016 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide. The award will be presented by France , The NASCAR Foundation's Chairwoman Emeritus and founder, on Sept. 27 during the inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The foundation will donate $100,000 to the charity represented by the award winner and $25,000 to each of the other three finalists' charities. The award winner will be determined via an online vote now underway and running through Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET at NASCAR.com/Award Andy Hoffman and his son, Jack, at a chemotherapy session. Each year, approximately 4,300 children are diagnosed with life-threatening brain cancer. Young Jack Hoffman's battle continues, but for many other children, the battle is lost. "As a parent, when your child receives that first cancer diagnosis, it's a process," Hoffman said. "It's devastating. It's paralyzing. Then you go from being paralyzed to almost having a pity party, and you're praying, asking God, 'Why?' But then, the next step is, 'How are we going to beat this thing?' "I can't ask for a better group to advocate for, than these kids going through something like this. … There's so much more work that needs to be done. We've only scratched the surface. "For whatever reason, God chose us [to face this challenge] so we felt like it was our job, our obligation to other families … to use all of the blessings in our life, to do the most amount of good as possible." To learn more about this year's finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide, and to cast your vote today, go to www.NASCAR.com/Award . Voting is open now until Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET.
Amy , Brian France : Passionate about worthy causes
NASCAR Chairman and CEO, wife cap off year of support