NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France has taken an indefinite leave of absence, NASCAR announced Monday, after he was reportedly arrested Sunday night and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Brian France has taken an indefinite leave of absence from NASCAR as chairman and chief executive officer. "He's up to date with everything, been part of all the big decisions, so I think we're fortunate to have him step in".
Prior to this, NASCAR had also issued a statement, to say they were looking into the arrest but were refraining from all action until they had all the facts. It's been confusing to watch because Brian France, the one who should be leading the cavalry, has been conspicuously absent.
France became NASCAR CEO and Chairman in 2003. Jim is Bill's brother and is often credited for helping guide NASCAR in a behind-the-scenes manner.
"The France family is locked and loaded in its dedication to NASCAR", France said on the radio program. Chief Operating Officer Steve Phelps and executive vice president Steve O'Donnell have tried to clean up NASCAR's mess, but they have been handcuffed like many NASCAR executives by an absence of leadership at the very top. "We're going to concentrate on our racing".
"I haven't ever had any issues with Jim", Elliott said.
"With that said, I'm very confident in the people that NASCAR has in the industry. I get invited into some very intense meetings with them at times, and am very confident that those guys can take the reins and do a great job". Bill France Jr. was in failing health when he turned the business over to Brian in 2003, but after 31 years in charge, he couldn't help but question his son's every move.
"We need to find it in our hearts to forgive Brian for his mistakes", Sabates said. That's what you need is that racing perspective of just making sure we stick with the roots of what made NASCAR racing what it is, and he's been around it and know how that went. He is fun to be with, he knows as many amusing jokes as his daddy. "He is a very simple person".
A release from the Sag Harbor Village Police Department says that France was arrested at 7:30 p.m. local time, not long after Chase Elliott secured his first career win in the NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen. That would be 0.08 for NY, and France had 0.18 blood-alcohol content.
Bruton Smith, executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., told The Associated Press that the sport will continue to go forward.
It is yet to be seen how France's arrest and subsequent negative publicity will affect a rumoured sale of NASCAR, although the France family has denied that it could sell the organisation.
"We've got to look to our sport's future, what we can change and what we can do next", said Kyle Busch. His grandfather started NASCAR, his father led its growth and transition into the mainstream, and then came Brian.