American Ethanol Fall 2017 - Page 5

From grandmother Anne Bledsoe France to uncle Jim, son Ben and brother Brian, NASCAR has always been—and remains— “the family business” to Lesa France Kennedy. Indelible memories Kennedy had a front-row seat to the rapid growth of NASCAR, and she clearly recalls some key events that fueled that growth. “One of the most exciting memories I have is of President Reagan and Air Force One landing right behind the track at Daytona. It looked like the plane was going to land right on the Superstretch,” she recalled. “President Reagan was there for Richard Petty’s 200th career victory and final race. That is a family and career highlight. You can’t replicate it.” demographics have changed. When I was younger, it was a much more male-dominated sport. More than 40 percent of our fans are now women. That is very different than when I was growing up.” Constantly improving the experience for fans of all ages is Kennedy’s goal as CEO of ISC. Under her leadership, the organization has undertaken an expansive program of track improvements. (continued on next page) When asked about the biggest change she’s seen growing up with the sport, Kennedy named two. “It was a motorsports experience, and now it is a complete family fun experience. Also, the FALL 2017 Photo used with permission from the Daytona Beach News-Journal 5