France Jr Laid To Rest

Funeral services for former NASCAR president Bill France Jr. were held in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Thursday as thousands of friends, family members and fans paid their respects to the visionary NASCAR leader.

France died Monday afternoon at his home in Daytona Beach. He was 74.

A memorial service was held at Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center, at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.

Immediately following, a private ceremony took place for family members.

A litany of NASCAR notables and dignataries attended the service as well as Wednesday's visitation including Dale Jarrett and his father Ned, Leonard Wood of Wood Brothers Racing, Hurley Haywood, a five-time Rolex 24 winner, Tim Brewer, a NASCAR commentator with ESPN and former Junior Johnson crew chief, Dennis Huth, former NASCAR administrator and president of the American Speed Association and NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton.

"Bill Sr. and Bill Jr. are names you wanted to be associated with," Pemberton said. "There are so many memories with Bill inside and outside the garage."

"I think there are people in the sport that don’t realize what Bill France has done, what he has sacrificed and what he has given to this sport his entire life," said former champion and current broadcaster Darrell Waltrip. "His whole life has been about the sport, the people in it, the growth of it and the prosperity of it. He truly has been the heart and soul of this sport for 30 odd years.

"I can still see him now with those arms crossed looking over the top of those glasses shaking his head at me and then giving me fatherly advice to tell me where I went wrong or tell me what he was thinking. He’s just one of those kind of men with so much wisdom. When we lose people."

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