Racing Dignitaries Gather to Honor France Family June 28

Brian France
Brian France will NOT be honored after running NASCAR into the ground

Dignitaries from the motorsports industry will join in tribute to Jim France and the France Family on June 28 when they receive the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports.

The France Family will be honored by the International Motor Racing Research Center at a dinner presented by Sahlen's, NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, Watkins Glen International and IMSA. The France Family members acknowledged will be Jim France, Chairman of ISC and IMSA and NASCAR Vice Chairman/Executive Vice President; ISC CEO/Vice Chairperson and NASCAR Vice Chairperson, Lesa France Kennedy; General Manager of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Ben Kennedy; and Amy France, Jim France's daughter.

The award memorializes Cameron R. Argetsinger, founder and organizer of the first races at Watkins Glen. Mario Andretti, considered by many to be the greatest driver in the history of the sport, was the 2017 honoree.

J.C. Argetsinger and his sister Louise Argetsinger Kanaley, two of the nine children of the late Cameron and Jean Argetsinger, will present the award.

"The France Family has contributed greatly to the rise of motorsports," said J.C. Argetsinger, who was President of the IMRRC from 2008-2015. "The France name is synonymous with the success of auto racing around the world. It is a privilege to present them this award in our father's name."

Longtime race reporter Dr. Jerry Punch will be the master of ceremonies for a program that includes remarks from Mike Helton, Vice Chairman of NASCAR; Michael Printup, president of WGI; David Hobbs, world-renowned race-car driver and TV commentator; motorcycle racer Don Emde, the 1972 Daytona 200 winner; Chip Ganassi, inaugural recipient of the Argetsinger Award in 2014, and Roger Penske, who accepted the award in 2016.

Emde will also be on hand to sign his new book, "The Daytona 200. The History of America's Premier Motorcycle Race," during the cocktail reception.

John Saunders, the Vice Chairman of the Racing Research Center's Governing Council, also will speak. Saunders has been president of the International Speedway Corporation since 2009.

"Jim France and his entire family personify what the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award is all about," said Saunders. "The Frances have set the standard for outstanding contributions to motorsports for more than 80 years. What they have accomplished is a classic all-American success story."

In addition to Sahlen's, NASCAR, ISC, WGI and IMSA, award dinner sponsors and supporters include Corning Incorporated, Team Penske, Bosch, Michelin, Acura Motorsports, Action Express Racing, Hilliard Corp., Welliver, Elmira Savings Bank, Chip Ganassi Racing, SCCA Inc., Gorsline Company, AmeriCarna, Larry Kessler, Archie Urciuoli, Bob Newman, and Glenora Wine Cellars.

An engaging France Family video tribute produced by NASCAR Productions and narrated by Jerry Punch will be shown, along with shout-outs from other motorsports notables, including 2015 Argetsinger Award recipient Richard Petty, and Mario Andretti, recognized in 2017.

The evening will conclude with the live auction of an original, commissioned painting by motorsports artist Randy Owens depicting a significant "moment in time" in the history of the France Family. A silent auction will offer a variety of items from corporate leaders in the motorsports industry and the Finger Lakes Region of New York.

Three cars and a motorcycle will be displayed, representing a unique piece of history in which Jim France and the France Family have been involved throughout the years. A 1982 Pontiac J2000 NASCAR Modified built by Troyer Engineering of Rochester, N.Y., and owned by Jerry Cook, represents NASCAR's oldest sanctioned series. A 2009 Porsche Cayman, on loan from IMRRC Governing Council member Scott Welliver, that ran in the inaugural Cayman HSR Interseries speaks to Jim France's love of sports cars. Rusty Wallace's 2005 Dodge NEXTEL Cup car donated to the Center by Roger Penske showcases the family's founding and ongoing stewardship of NASCAR. Finally, a 1972 Yamaha 350cc motorcycle, ridden to victory in the 1972 Daytona 200 by AMA Hall of Famer Don Emde rounds out the showcase.

Jim France and the France Family are being honored for having advanced and improved the sport. The award recognizes them for bringing prestige to motorsports and demonstrating commitment to the future of racing.

The dinner will be at the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., and precedes the Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen weekend at WGI. Tickets are still available at or by calling 607-535-9044.

The Racing Research Center, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is an archival library dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the history of motorsports, of all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials. For more information about the Center's work and its programs, visit or call 607-535-9044. The Center also is on Facebook and Twitter.

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