NASCAR CEO Brian France takes leave of absence after DWI arrest

Brian France, the chairman and CEO of NASCAR, is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the auto racing organization after he was arrested for driving under the influence Sunday. NASCAR on Monday named Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France as its interim chairman and CEO. “I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night,” Brian France said in a statement. “Effective immediately, I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my position to focus on my personal affairs.”

Police said France appeared to be driving while intoxicated Opens a New Window. Sunday in Sag Harbor, New York. He was pulled over after driving through a stop sign, and police found oxycodone pills on his possession. France faces charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to police.

In a statement earlier Monday, NASCAR said it considered the incident “a serious matter.” France, 55, has served as CEO of America’s most popular racing circuit since 2003. His grandfather, Bill France Sr., founded NASCAR in 1948.

Jim France, Brian France’s uncle, currently serves as chairman of International Speedway Corp., which owns Daytona International Speedway and other tracks. The France family has reportedly considered selling Opens a New Window. its controlling stake in NASCAR. In an interview last month with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Brian France said his family is “locked and loaded in its dedication to NASCAR.” “We’re focused on ruling and managing NASCAR,” he added. “There’s nothing to report on that. Rumors are always interesting, but they’re seldom right.”

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