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NASCAR’s most visible leader at the race track, President Mike Helton assumed that role in November 2000 when he succeeded Bill France, who had served as president since 1972.
Helton was well-prepared for his new position, to say the least.
In February 1999 he had become the first person outside the France family to take over the day-to-day operations of NASCAR, when he was named senior vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to that, Helton had served as NASCAR’s vice president for competition since January 1994.
Born and raised in Bristol, Va., Helton’s motorsports experience is multi-faceted. In addition to working for a sanctioning body, during his career he has also been a track operator and even raced a little himself.
Helton is well-known by NASCAR’s many fans as the man who presides in the “big hauler” on race weekends. He is the voice of authority – and reason. But he also is a portrait of popularity, evident whenever he appears in the garage area, as he takes the time to greet fans, sign autographs and pose for photographs.
Helton and his wife, Lynda, reside in Ormond Beach, Fla.
NASCAR Board of Directors
From left, Mike Helton (President), Gary Crotty (Secretary, General Counsel), James C. France (Vice Chairman/Executive Vice President), Lesa Kennedy (Vice Chairwoman/Executive Vice President), and Brian Z. France (Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer)