NASCAR issued the following statement on Monday: “Brian France has taken an indefinite leave of absence from NASCAR as chairman and chief executive officer. Effective immediately, NASCAR Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France has assumed the role of interim chairman and chief executive officer.”
Jim France grew up in the early years of stock car racing, living and learning every detail of the sport from his own experiences, and from his father Bill France Sr., the founder and first president of NASCAR, and brother Bill Jr., NASCAR’s former president, chairman and CEO.
Joining International Speedway Corporation in 1959, France worked in all phases of operations in his early years with the company.
He was elected to the ISC board in 1970 and has served as the company’s secretary, assistant treasurer, vice president, chief operating officer, executive vice president and president.
France has been involved in motorsports most of his life. In addition to stock cars, he has also been a strong supporter of both sports car and motorcycle racing in the United States, evident by his professional involvement in those sports. In 1999, he founded GRAND-AM Road Racing; in 2012, he was the driving force behind the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series, which began operation as one entity under the IMSA banner in 2014. He also was one of the crucial forces behind NASCAR’s acquisition of ARCA earlier this year.
France has served as a board member for ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee of the United States). France was on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1969-1970, serving in Vietnam.
France was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, and graduated from Seabreeze High School. He attended Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, and earned a business degree in 1968.