The man that moved NASCAR into the 21st century and into the lives of more fans than his father ever could have imagined, lost his eight-year battle with cancer yesterday at the age of 74. Bill France Jr. took the reigns from Bill Sr. in 1976, and in the ensuing three decades transformed the once beleaguered sport into one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the U.S.

Several automotive news outlets have penned some compelling obits for the "ultimate general manager," who will be sorely missed by his family and friends. They've done a far better job than we can, so we'd ask you to check their stories out here, here and here.

[Source: NASCAR]