- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jim France, son of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., will step down June 1 as head of the largest operator of NASCAR tracks.

Lesa France Kennedy, granddaughter of NASCAR’s founder and older sister to current NASCAR chairman Brian France, will move from president to chief executive officer of International Speedway Corp. The announcement was made at Tuesday’s annual stockholders’ meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla.

ISC is the largest operator of NASCAR tracks and the France family’s publicly traded company. The family runs NASCAR as a private entity.

“Under Lesa’s continued outstanding leadership, I have every confidence they will drive future success for ISC’s shareholders for many years to come,” Jim France said of his niece.

Jim France began working for his father at ISC in 1959 when he was 14 and became president in 1987. He became CEO six years ago when his older brother, the late Bill France Jr., began transferring power to family members.

Jim France will continue as chairman of ISC’s board of directors and vice chairman of NASCAR. He is NASCAR’s largest shareholder and has spent 50 years with the company, which owns 11 tracks that host 19 premier Sprint Cup Series races each season. ISC’s crown jewel is Daytona International Speedway.

“His vision and energies have been vital to our ability to prosper, and we will continue to benefit from his extensive experience and knowledge of the motor sports industry,” Lesa France Kennedy said.

France Kennedy will be replaced as president by current chief operating officer John Saunders. Roger VanDerSnick was promoted from senior vice president to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Daniel Houser moves from vice president to senior vice president.

“These changes follow the company’s plan of succession that has been in place for quite some time,” Jim France said. “Working closely with the board, I look forward to continuing to provide key oversight and support to a strong management team that has shown careful and sound judgment on both strategic and operational matters.”

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