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

NASCAR drivers react to leadership change			Image by Getty Images for NASCAR

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France will take an indefinite leave of absence after he was arrested for drunk driving and drug possession in NY.

Jim France, 73, is the younger brother of Bill France, Jr. and has worked for the company throughout his life. While France is a Long Island resident in the summer, he was not at the track in upstate NY prior to his arrest. Chase Elliott, a future star of the series, won his first career Cup race in a dramatic finish on the road course, and NASCAR finally had some buzz to celebrate this week. Jim France is the son of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and the uncle to Brian France.

France was arrested Sunday evening in Sag Harbor Village, N.Y., a wealthy suburb in Long Island, after he allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign.

Police say that France seemed impaired and a blood alcohol test revealed he was twice over the legal limit.

During the stop, France was searched which was when officers found the oxycodone pills, according to police.

France was held overnight in The Hamptons before being released just after 9 a.m. ET on Monday after his arraignment. He was greeted by several hundred supporters Sunday night when his plane landed in Georgia, which he touched on during a national conference call conducted by NASCAR.

Jim France and Lesa France Kennedy have always been in the mix of both NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., but the role of face of the family fell to Brian. A request by The Associated Press to speak to Jim France was not immediately answered. Although many of Brian France's initiatives were progressive and needed in some form, staunch fans have vehemently rejected his vision.

Brian France took charge during a time the sport was booming in popularity and sponsors were beating down the door to get their logos on a race vehicle.

Brian France was previously charged with reckless driving back in 2005, when he was fined and ordered to complete an aggressive-driver program.

"The France family is locked and loaded in its dedication to NASCAR", France told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Reuters reported in May the France family was exploring a sale of NASCAR's sanctioning body, while Forbes said the France family was seeking only minority investors. "We're focused on ruling and managing NASCAR". Jim France runs IMSA and was the top supporter in the purchase of ARCA.

A day after the shake-up, few seemed concerned about the direction of NASCAR with Brian France sidelined. "He's put his heart and soul into this thing and it pays off".

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