MADISON — Curtis Francois was sitting in his office just steps from his racetrack last spring when he got a call from Daytona Beach. It was the big one.
World Wide Technology Raceway was in the running to host one of NASCAR’s marquee events. The France family, which founded and still owns the sport’s sanctioning body, was coming to town. Francois hung up and dialed Jason Hall, the leader of the St. Louis region’s business development organization.
“We’re going to get one shot with the whole family,” Francois told him. “How are we going to sell St. Louis?”
Today, the region is in final preparations for a weekend in victory lane. NASCAR is bringing its top-tier Cup Series to the Metro East. The Enjoy Illinois 300 is set for next Sunday.
It almost didn’t happen: Previous owners tried for years to score such an event. They eventually gave up, closed