NASCAR CEO Brian France takes indefinite leave following DUI, drug possession charges

Brian France has taken a leave of absence as chairman and CEO of NASCAR following his arrest in New York's Hamptons on charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone.

France was seen blowing through a stop sign in Sag Harbor on Sunday and later had a blood-alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit for driving, smelled of booze and slurred his words, police said.

France said in a statement Monday that his indefinite leave will be used to focus on his "personal affairs".

"I apologize to our fans, our industry, and my family for the impact of my actions last night", he added.

"First of all, the France family has guided us for years, and I met with Jim France himself recently", Gibbs told ESPN. His uncle Jim France, a vice chairman and executive vice president, will take over those roles on an interim basis.

His lawyer referred reporters to a NASCAR statement on the matter.


"We are aware of an incident that occurred last night and are in the process of gathering information", the organization said.

The 56-year-old, who became chief executive of the stock auto racing organisation in 2003, was held overnight and released on Monday morning.

Police said he was in possession of oxycodone pills. The legal limit in NY is 0.08. "Upon traffic stop, it was determined that Mr. France was operating said vehicle in an intoxicated condition".

He's a third-generation leader of NASCAR and never really had a choice but to take that role. Officers reportedly found oxycodone on France during a search.

Brian France introduced a playoff system, overhauled the design of the series' cars and pushed for diversity within the circuit's predominantly white, male ranks. But many believe Jim France, the second son of NASCAR's founder, can be a steadying hand in trying times for the series. It's only fair that France be held to the same standards as Mayfield and be a standard for NASCAR and the France family. "Whenever he finishes what he needs to do, we all at NASCAR need to welcome him back with open arms". There's nothing to report on that. "I think that's the most important thing right now is this sport needs to be connected in a lot of different directions, but they need to all come together and go in the same direction instead of having so many different ideas". Police said that at the time he was pulled over, France struggled to keep his balance during field sobriety tests, and his eyes were red and glassy. By the time police got to France, he was already at home and told them he was drinking a soda when he "bumped into something". He had a court appearance Monday morning and was released on his own recognizance.

France also initiated NASCAR's substance-abuse policy, which offers a "Road to Recovery" to any member that fails a random test.

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