King of the Road: Bill France Jr. (1933-2007)

His father founded NASCAR, but Bill Jr. made the circuit matter--to the entire nation

I called a friend of mine, who's a mad NASCAR fan, to mull the passing of Bill France Jr. Just what was the man's contribution to the national fabric? My friend responded, "Vroooom!"

You must use the Jr. when discussing the 31-year chairman of NASCAR, who died June 4 at 74; it's necessary in a way that it isn't with, say, Martin Luther King, Sammy Davis or Dinosaur. This is because there was a Bill France Sr.--was there ever. Big Bill grew up poor in Washington and had less than $100 to his name when he moved his family south during...

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