Known as the 'First Lady of NASCAR', Betty Jane France,  died last night (Aug. 29th) at the age of 78.

Betty is the widow of former NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. and the mother of current NASCAR chairman Brian France and vice chairwoman Lesa France Kennedy.

As you can see, Betty Jane France comes from a family who has loved and been involved with NASCAR for many years. Her strong relationship with the sport, and intensive charity work, have made her one of the most beloved figures in NASCAR.

In 2004, France was named chairwoman of The NASCAR Foundation. She also founded the “Speediatrics” children’s care unit in Daytona Beach and in Homestead, Florida In 2011. The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award was created to honor outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of NASCAR fans.

Lesa France Kennedy said in a statement..."She played a significant role in NASCAR's history, leading the charge to elevate the experience of our sport for the fans who love it, and her philanthropic efforts will forever remain a part of our sport."

Brian France said...“Last night, the NASCAR family lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend and the light that guided the sport’s charitable arm. My mother taught us incredible values, that of love, patience, compassion and joy. She embraced life every day, and nothing fueled her passion more than children. Her unmatched efforts in building The NASCAR Foundation improved the lives of millions of children throughout this country. And because of that, her legacy will live forever.”