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Betty Jane France
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    (April 15, 1938-August 30, 2016)
    Born in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina
    Chairwoman Emeritus of the NASCAR Foundation (est. 2006)
    Widow of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Bill France, Jr. (m. 1957)
    Mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy
    Served as Executive Vice President and assistant treasurer of NASCAR
    Namesake for the annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award (created in 2011)
    She made her profession in a hotbed of nepotism.
    Her future husband recruited her for the 1957 'Miss NASCAR' contest shortly after meeting her (she was the 'Miss Bowman Gray' winner, at the time).
    She lost the Miss NASCAR contest, but began dating France anyway - they married seven months later.
    She played a role in the controversial decision to have NASCAR 'go commercial' in the 80's and 90's.
    She also was party to the discontinuing of the 'traditional points' system - angering many NASCAR fans.
    She was a community leader active with the Volusia-Flagler chapter of the American Red Cross.
    She oversaw the donation of an estimated $25 million to over one million at-risk children over a ten year period.
    Her father-in-law, ‘Big Bill’ France liked to joke about her meeting his son through a beauty pageant by saying ‘she didn't win Miss NASCAR, but she did win NASCAR.’
    Many in the NASCAR community credited her with keeping them grounded, endowing them with the perspective that their communities expected them to be positive role models.
    She was a member of the Junior League of Daytona Beach, and served on several community service organization boards.
    She established the ‘Speediatrics’ child care unit at both the Halifax Health facility in Daytona Beach and at Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Florida.
    She was presented with the Halifax Medical Center Foundation’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of her advocacy (2003).
    She was named as an honorary co-chairperson for the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, headed by fellow-Winston-Salem resident, Richard Childress (July, 2008).
    Her final public appearance was attending her grandson, Ben Kennedy's, inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway (it marked the first time a member of the France family had won a NASCAR national series race).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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