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Nascar CEO Brian France takes leave of absence after DUI arrest

11 August 2018

NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian Z. France was arrested Sunday while allegedly driving under the influence and in possession of oxycodone.

ESPN's Bob Pockrass, citing a news release from the Sag Harbor Village Police Department, reported that France was held overnight, arraigned at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court on Monday morning, and released on his own recognizance.

NASCAR issued an earlier statement Monday, before it announced France's leave of absence.

France, a third-generation leader, took a leave of absence following his Sunday night arrest in New York's Hamptons on charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone.

Police observed that France's blood alcohol levels were more than twice the legal limit and added that he struggled to keep his balance during a sobriety test. His late grandfather Bill France Sr. founded the company in 1948. France faces charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He also released a statement apologising for his conduct.

Sources told TMZ that throughout the process, he brought up his relationship to the Trumps.

But Felix Sabates, who has had at least partial ownership of a top-level NASCAR team since 1989, believes Brian France has been unfairly blamed for the downturn in the series.

An official statement from Nascar said: 'Brian France has taken an indefinite leave of absence from Nascar as chairman and chief executive officer.

Jim France's involvement in the sport allows him to make a smooth transition in serving as NASCAR interim chairman and CEO, NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs said Tuesday. Brian France, the founder's grandson, was named NASCAR's chairman of the board and CEO in September 2003.

Jim France, his uncle, and Lesa France Kennedy, his sister, are executive vice presidents.

"First of all, the France family has guided us for years, and I met with Jim France himself recently", Gibbs told ESPN.

Last month, France was forced to refute rumors that he was planning to sell the business. He has yet to address a May report that NASCAR is either for sale or the France family is looking to take on investors, but he called SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on July 25 and called talk of a sale "rumors".

Busch had a media event Tuesday in SC for Darlington Raceway and said he hopes France's issues don't "affect NASCAR in a negative way". There's nothing to report on that.

Nascar CEO Brian France takes leave of absence after DUI arrest