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NASCAR President Has Cancer

Bill France Jr., the president of NASCAR since 1972, has been diagnosed with cancer that he says is treatable.

France, 66, is seeking further medical opinion. His family will not say what kind of cancer he has, NASCAR spokesman Tim Sullivan said.

"I am anxious to begin treatment and get on the road to recovery," France said today.

"My father is in good spirits," said Brian France, who serves as NASCAR's senior vice president.

France is the son of William Henry Getty France, who founded NASCAR in 1948 and who ran the stock car sanctioning body until handing over control to his son in 1972.

France Jr. had a mild heart attack in 1997 while in Japan for a NASCAR exhibition race.

Earlier this year, France turned over some of his day-to-day responsibilities to Mike Helton, who was promoted from vice president of competition to senior vice president and chief operating officer.

France "still has an active role in this company. He still is in this office every day," Sullivan said.

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