NASCAR CEO: Raising Kids Is Harder Than My Job

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NASCAR CEO Brian France and his wife Amy tell Yahoo Parenting all about the curves and bumps raising twin 4-year-olds while running a race-car organization. (Photo: The France Family). 

As CEO and chairman of NASCAR, Brian France races around under a lot of pressure and is pulled in different directions. But asked if he thinks raising kids is harder than running the auto racing organization, the chief of 12 years and father of four doesn’t hesitate. “I know it is,” he tells Yahoo Parenting. “And it’s much more important because there’s more on the line. I always tell Amy, she’s got the toughest job in the world.” 

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Amy France, Brian’s second wife and the mother of their 4-year-old twins, Meadow and Luke, tells Yahoo Parenting juggling family life is no joke — as Brian travels for work and between their homes in Daytona Beach, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; L.A., and New York City, where the couple is raising the preschoolers. “His time away from family is tough,” she admits of the businessman, who has another set of twins as well, age 8, with his ex-wife, Megan. “On the other hand, what I really appreciate about NASCAR is that it’s such a family sport. If you were to watch on any given race weekend, you will see drivers with their spouses at victory lane with their kids, too. So Brian having the ability to incorporate us at the track balances it out a bit.” 

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(Photo: The France Family).

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The kids often visit Brian at the track on race days, which the parents encourage not just to share the excitement but to show them what dad is doing when he’s away. “They see, ‘Daddy’s working,’ and it’s not just a concept or a statement said at home,” says Amy. “They can experience it for themselves too.” 

The twins talk with the drivers, hang out in the pits and garage area, watch the pit crew prep, and enjoy the race. “They love it,” says Amy. Especially little Luke. “He knows the drivers and what cars they drive,” says the proud dad. “He knows as much, or more, than I do!” 

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(Photo: The France Family).

Visits help the duo see “that daddy doesn’t want to be away from home but when he is, this is what he’s doing on TV,” adds Brian, who tries not to be gone for more than two nights at a time. Amy is the first to admit, though, that “it’s not always easy. We try to minimize the impact of when he’s away yet of course there are moments when we do miss dad. But it’s important for kids not to get everything they want.” 

As part of the larger France family — which founded NASCAR in 1948 and is worth an estimated $5 billion according to Forbes — Brian makes a point of instilling in their little ones the spirit of philanthropy that he and Amy hold dear. “We want them to give back and be a part of things bigger than themselves,” he says. To that end the couple founded the charitable giving Luke and Meadow Foundation, and donate to Stand Up For Heroes, in support of post 9-11 injured service men, veterans, and their families, as well as Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation, supporting cancer research among other organizations. 

“Our children are coming from a privileged background so it’s important for us to make sure that they grow up with their feet on the ground,” says Amy. “My biggest goal is that they become compassionate individuals inspired to sincerely do good in this world. That’s why I named the foundation after them, so that they will one day hopefully internalize this as their foundation.” 

Brian “chuckles at me,” she says, “when I say that my dream for my kids is that they become social activists. But what I really want is for them to be fulfilled and inspired to do things in the world outside of a focus on themselves. Of course, though, I’ll support whatever their choices may be.” 

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(Photo: The France Family).

Even if that is race-car driving? “Luke has already been in a go-cart driving at 25 miles an hour at age 3,” says Brian. “He literally started driving a car and he was really good at it! But the mom in Amy would prefer Luke be on the management end of things.” 

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