William Clifton France, also known as Little Billy or Bill France Jr., was an executive for the American Motorsports and handled the post of Chief Executive Office, better known as CEO of NASCAR, during the years of 1972 to 2000. NASCAR is an important organization that manages the sanctioning of Stock car racing in the United States. Bill France Sr founded NASCAR. And his son, Bill France Jr., took over as the CEO after him. Bill’s son, Brian France, has also served as the NASCAR CEO from the year 2003 to 2018.
Bill France Jr. was born on 4th April 1933, in Washington, D.C., and his full name is William Clifton France. His father’s name was William Henry Getty France, and his mother was Anne Bledsoe. When the Great Depression hit the world in 1935, he moved to Dayton Beach, Florida, along with his family. Bill started his education in the Seabreeze High School and later went to the University of Florida to pursue his higher education.
He had a successful career in racing, but few people know that before that, he also served in the United States Navy for over two years. He spent most of his childhood at race tracks as he used to help park cars and sell concessions at the Dayton Beach Road Course. When the Dayton International Speedway was under construction, he worked there every day for 12 hours and drove grader, compactor, and bulldozer. In the 1960s, he took racing as his career and started competing in Enduros.
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If we talk about the career of Bill France Jr., he first worked as vice-president of NASCAR for six years, but after his father retired from the post of CEO, he took over and played an important role in the growth and development of NASCAR. It was in his leadership that NASCAR turned into a national sport from merely a Southern regional sport. Bill took the sport to the national level and signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Bob Jane in the year 1981. He helped in building a high-banked speedway at the Calder Park Raceway, Melbourne, which is owned by Bob Jane. Bill helped in the growth of the Daytona 500 and Daytona 200 car race and motorcycle race. In 1971, he changed the Grand National Series to Winston Cup and also increased the prize money from $750000 to $2 million.
In the year 2000, Bill stepped down from the post of president of NASCAR and handed it over to Mike Helton as he got diagnosed with cancer in the same year. He also gave his son; Brian France, the post of chairman and CEO in 2003. However, Bill remained a member of the board of directors of NASCAR. He was the chairman of the ISC board, but after his death in 2007, his daughter took over. Bill France Jr. died due to lung cancer on 4th June 2007.
If we talk about the net worth of Bill France Jr., it is around 2 billion dollars.