Cuddly Seniors who Created NASCAR
Daytona Beach, Florida
William "Big Bill" France and Anne Bledsoe "Annie B" France are rendered in bronze as if they'd just stepped off of a senior bus for a bargain breakfast at Bob Evans. But by the time these two reached retirement age they were multi-millionaires, having built the Daytona International Speedway and founded NASCAR.
Big Bill owned a gas station in Daytona Beach and was an occasionally successful driver on its sand and road courses. It wasn't until after World War II, however, that he embraced his true calling: promotion. He founded NASCAR in 1948 and built the speedway in 1959. Annie B. was his VP and treasurer in the early years.
According to a plaque on the statue, it was funded "through the generosity of race fans all over the country as well as contributions from corporations who worked with Bill and Anne France in making stock car racing what it is today." They both died in 1992 and the statue went up in 1994, forever preserving them as the lovable grandparents who nurtured NASCAR.