Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Sincere Condolances

No matter how you felt about the NASCAR initiative, this is a sad day.

Lesa France Kennedy, president of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), lost her husband today in a plane crash in Sanford, Florida. The Business Journal received the following press release this morning.

“This morning, at approximately 8:40 a.m. Eastern Time, a Cessna 310 registered to Competitor Liaison Bureau, Inc. of Daytona Beach, crashed in a Sanford, Florida, area neighborhood. At this time, we can confirm there were two people on-board, including the pilot, Dr. Bruce Kennedy and Michael Klemm, a senior captain with NASCAR Aviation. Both were killed in the crash. “Dr. Kennedy was the husband of NASCAR Board Member and ISC President Lesa France Kennedy.

“It is clear that numerous families were affected by this terrible tragedy and unfortunately several people were deceased or seriously injured. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all of those who were involved in this tragic accident and their families. We will provide additional information as it becomes available."

I met Lesa France Kennedy on a number of occasions related to ISC's attempt to build a NASCAR track here. She is a genuinely nice woman, with a very relaxed style. I found her very easy to talk with, quick to laugh, and quite charming and engaging. I also met her husband more than once and thought he was a pretty nice guy as well. It was obvious he doted on her, and was secure in his own persona — which considering the entire atmosphere which engulfed their lives, could become easy to get swallowed up in — and wasn't at all intimidated by any of it.

This is the second tragic death for Lesa in the past 30 days. Her father, NASCAR legend Bill France, passed away just a couple of weeks ago.

My heart goes out out to Lesa. If you're so inclined, I hope you'll say a prayer for her tonight.

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