Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HEAD OF THE CLASS; Stock Car Racing's New Shrine Honors the Five Biggest Names in the Sport's History

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HEAD OF THE CLASS; Stock Car Racing's New Shrine Honors the Five Biggest Names in the Sport's History

Article excerpt

BILL FRANCE SR.

(1909-1992)

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

He was called "Big Bill," and only partly because of his 6-foot-5 stature. He spearheaded NASCAR from its beginning and directed it to its present status. In 1936, he helped lay out the first beach/road course in Daytona Beach. In 1947, France became the driving force behind the establishment of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

RICHARD PETTY

(1937-)

Hometown: Randleman, N.C.

Competed: 1958-92

Starts: 1,185;

Wins: 200

Poles: 123

Perhaps the biggest fan favorite in NASCAR history, "The King" backed it up on the track with the most victories, poles, Daytona 500 victories (7), victories in a season (27), most consecutive victories (10) and most starts (1,185).

BILL FRANCE JR.

(1933-2007)

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

France became NASCAR's president in January 1972, becoming the second president. His emergence coincided with the sport's emergence, and its eventual ascent to become America's No. 1 form of motorsports and the nation's second-most popular sport overall. …

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