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Florida governor hosts NASCAR celebration

July 01, 2011, Track Release, NASCAR.com



Florida governor hosts NASCAR celebration

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A full contingent of NASCAR officials, drivers and racing legends, as well as International Speedway Corp. representatives, joined Florida Gov. Rick Scott at the Florida Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee, Fla., on Wednesday night to celebrate NASCAR's historical significance in Florida and its economic benefit to the state.

The list of attendees included NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France, ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy, NASCAR president Mike Helton and fellow Florida residents and NASCAR drivers Juan Montoya, Brian Vickers, Joe Nemechek and Ricky Carmichael. In addition, Joey Logano, 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, and NASCAR legends and broadcasters Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace participated in the event.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott climbs into the No. 20. (Getty Images)

* Video: Florida governor welcomes NASCAR

"It really is refreshing to have a pro-growth economy governor who backs those same risk-taking and dreams [of my grandfather Bill France Sr.] because he knows what we know in business that it's going to be about jobs," Brian France said. "It's going to be about making Florida a place you want to work and where you want to live and raise a family. Our family has been here since 1948 in Daytona Beach. We love this state. We're happy it's in great hands."

Scott saw first-hand the impact of NASCAR racing when he attended the 2011 Daytona 500.

"NASCAR is a family, a group of people who really believe in our state and add a lot of economic value to our state. They [also] do a lot of nice things for our state with NASCAR Unites. It's a real honor that the state workers contributed 19,480 hours to this great cause."

Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III and Homestead-Miami Speedway president Matt Becherer also were in attendance.

"NASCAR is a big part of this state. Every year it has a major impact on Florida with their races here," Chitwood said. "These two properties [Daytona and Homestead-Miami] generate more economic impact probably than all of the sports properties in Florida combined, and it's nice to know that the governor appreciates that and he knows that racing is a huge component of the economic engine of Florida.

"Daytona International Speedway hosts the largest sporting event in the state of Florida every single year so we've got NASCAR's biggest and best event. Then, of course Matt Becherer and Homestead-Miami Speedway gets to end it with the championship. Florida gets the best of both worlds."