The International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) presented Daytona Beach, FL native Preston Root with its Legacy Award during its annual conference hosted by the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America September 26-28, 2023. Root is the fifth recipient of the award, which ISHA created in 2018 to recognize an individual or organization located in the geographical area of the annual conference in order to provide an opportunity for the host to honor a local sports heritage contributor.
Root grew up in the shadows of Daytona International Speedway. Born in 1962 across the street from the Speedway at Halifax Health, he and his family have lived in Daytona Beach for three generations. Preston spent 32 years in the Root family’s heritage business Root Glass Company that designed, patented and manufactured the Original Coca-Cola bottle in 1915 and was a radio broadcaster for MRN Radio, The Voice of NASCAR.
He has been a part of successful broadcast teams at most of the NASCAR venues and the largest events in motorsports, including the Daytona 500, The Brickyard 400, Mobil 1 Sebring 12 Hours and 24 Hours of Le Mans. He retired in 2017 and a year later returned to the Root Families Heritage business as Chairman of the Family Board of Directors to assist in a successional transition. Root also serves on the Board of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Root’s service to the community spans four decades. He has been recognized by The ARC of Florida as Volunteer of the Year, the Community Foundation of Volusia & Flagler’s Davidson Award winner for outstanding community service and Chairman’s Council for the YMCA. Preston is also the longest serving member of the Root Family Foundation, established in 1984.
Preston has been married to Lynn for 27 years and they have a daughter Scenic (yes, Scenic Root) who is a teacher. A Nationally Certified EMT, Preston is also a SCUBA instructor. The only hobby Preston ever listed is auto racing.
“Few have done more for motorsports both locally and nationally, publicly and behind the scenes, than Preston Root,” said Motorsports Hall of Fame of America President George Levy. “He’s been a broadcast race reporter and co-anchor. He’s sponsored race teams. He’s helped support racers in need and played a vital role in a range of motorsports and broader civic organizations, including the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.”
The International Sports Heritage Association is a non-profit membership organization incorporated in 1971. The mission of ISHA is to educate, promote and support organizations and individuals engaged in the celebration of sports heritage. ISHA includes nearly 150 regular members from countries such as China, New Zealand, England, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States. In addition, corporations and individuals participate in and contribute to the growth of ISHA as Associate Members. For more information about ISHA, visit www.sportsheritage.org.