Brian France Takes Indefinite Leave From NASCAR Leadership; Jim France Steps Into Position

Brian France (Photo: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

Brian France, the chairman and CEO of NASCAR, announced this afternoon that he will be taking an indefinite leave of absence in the wake of his arrest Sunday in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

“I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night,” 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.”

NASCAR announced that Jim France, the son of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and the uncle of Brian France, will step into Brian’s previous role.

A NASCAR statement read: “Brian France has taken an indefinite leave of absence from NASCAR as chairman and chief executive officer. Effective immediately, NASCAR Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France has assumed the role of interim chairman and chief executive officer.”

Brian France, 56, took over as CEO of NASCAR in 2003. Brian France took over the role previously held by his father and grandfather. Lesa France Kennedy, Brian France’s older sister, is the CEO of International Speedway Corporation, the France family controlled company which operates and manages numerous major racing facilities including Daytona International Speedway.

Brian France was arrested Sunday evening in Sag Harbor Village, N.Y. for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

A news release from the Sag Harbor Village police stated France was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and was held overnight. France was arraigned Monday Morning at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court and was released on his own recognizance.

“Mr. France was observed operating a 2017 Lexus northbound on Main Street failing to stop at a duly posted stop sign,” the Sag Harbor Village police news release said. “Upon traffic stop, it was determined that Mr. France was operating said vehicle in an intoxicated condition.

“Upon search of his person, due to a lawful arrest, Mr. France was in possession of oxycodone pills.”

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Comments

  1. Mike Ray says:

    Prayers for the man, his family and friends…

  2. theodore w arns says:

    Prayers for a self righteous hypocrite. you need to offer your prayers for Tommy Barrett who Frances nascar could not wait till he could got home ,before they suspend him from racing at the tour or any Nascar sanction track when he got a DWI. You need to pray for the New london waterford speedbowl who when the current promoter leased the track and tried to save it ( and by the way is hanging in there ) and ask to get the NASCAR sanction returned after they pulled it from the owner ( Who buy the way is still not convicted of a crime.) The self righteous France owned group nascar refused So spare me your tears for a filthy rich joker who is taking a leave of absence he will still get his checks and perks. while Guys like Barrett got shafted.

  3. theodore w arns says:

    whats up afraid to post my coment

  4. Truckcamper says:

    Maybe Tommy Barrett can get his NASCAR license back now

  5. Theodore,
    1. Like with any other driver/crew member in a situation like that, Tommy Barrett Jr. was offered the chance to participate in the Road To Recovery program and chose not to, and to this day still chooses not to. NASCAR isn’t keeping Tommy Barrett Jr. out, he has made the choice to stay out himself. He can come back if he wants to, but clearly he doesn’t want to for some reason.
    2. A NASCAR sanction at a short track is a right, not a given. If NASCAR doesn’t want to be associated with a certain track – for any reason – there’s no higher power of short track racing that says they must put their name on a track. The owner of the Speedbowl was arrested and NASCAR then chose to disassociate themselves with the facility. That person still owns the track. Comparing the Speedbowl losing its sanction to this current situation with Brian France is like trying to compare apples to eggplants.

  6. Will Brian France now have to participate in the Road To Recovery program before he can resume his NASCAR position?

  7. Driving a Lexus???? The NASCAR Big Cheese driving a Lexus??? In swanky Sag Harbor, Long Island?

  8. wmass01013 says:

    Sorry Mike Ray, NOOOO PRAYERS for this guy who took over what his grandfather and father Built only to care more for ALCOHOL AND DRUGS, not his 1st offense, yes rich boy takes over and is destroying the efforts his father and granddad have done, teams have been saying he needs to step up and be a leader and more present at every race but his desire to be a party boy seems more important.
    AND yes Tommy Barrett has had the Choice to do what needs to be done and has chosen otherwise so no need to compare the 2.

  9. Appropriate response Shawn.good job with the facts too. We as people are always make our choices and live with it.
    Great site Shawn and i ebjoy your updates on racing

  10. Tommy Barrett Jr has been given the chance to get his NASCAR drivers license back. All he has to do is complete the road to recovery program. He refused to do so. Why? Maybe he’s got something else to hide, which if so, makes him a danger to other competitors. Take the course, piss in a cup, and get your driving privilege back. Really easy, unless you’ve got something to hide.

  11. Open wheel fan says:

    No pity for Brian France. He deserves what he gets and he personally disciplined many drivers and cew members. He would not budge one inch regarding Waterford speedbowl owner. People always get what is coming to them. Those in glass houses should not throw stones the old saying. Just what nascar needs as they are in deep trouble now in many ways.

  12. Open Wheel Fan,
    I don’t think anybody here is offering any pity for Brian France, but, the Speedbowl situation regarding the loss of the track sanction, and the current situation involving Brian France have nothing do with each other. No matter what Brian France did or didn’t do, NASCAR is still a national brand and a national company that made a decision to disassociate themselves with a track owned by someone who had been charged with a very disturbing crime. It’s not a matter of budging an inch or not.

  13. Maybe now he will be gone permanently. The man and his family have ruined an awesome sport that his father and grandfather both amazing men worked so hard to build up. He was the entitled rich kid who had driven the sport into the toilet with his lack of leadership. I hope he gets the help he needs. It’s ironic how he fought mayfield in court and yet here he is doing drugs and alcohol too. I bet he was not even at the Watkins Glen race. What we should be talking about and that’s Chase Elliotts big first Win. I hope this is the catalyst for major changes for nascar before it’s too late. On a side note. Anyone wonder who the next up and coming owners will be at the cup level? The big team owners are all getting up there in age. That’s a whole other issue.

  14. Old Time Racer says:

    I bet the selling price of NASCAR just went down millions due to its leader being such a moron. The best thing IMO would be for a quick sale of NASCAR to a new ownership group that has a clue what needs to be done to fix the problems directly resulting from the current management’s actions.

  15. GerryD – Bet the house, farm and your life Brian France ain’t coming back.

    NO WAY the other members of the France family can afford to do that.

    Agreed, they need to get out and sell now.

    Only two names I can think of:

    Roger Penske (won’t do it I do not believe unless he can convince Tim Cindric to run it for years to come AND he can take it NASCAR public) or Bruton Smith’s kids.

  16. getserious says:

    Good riddance to an aloof, out-of-touch, holier-than-thou, spoiled, hypocritical rich jerk that has overseen NASCAR’s mis-guided efforts to rewrite the basic rules of auto-racing; “Competiton caution”, “lucky dog”, “stages” a “green checkered” flag, “overtime”, and the “chase.” And thank goodness for TB not crawling before the almighty NASCAR and begging for their forgiveness to be allowed to race under their rules. Some newbies here and those with short memories don’t remember Petty and the driver’s boycott, Curtis Turner and his fight against the big power, and the biggest names in all of modified racing having to run “outlaw” in order to get away from the dictatorship of NASCAR. Go Tommy!

  17. He ruined his reputation because he didn’t spend 25.00 to call Uber.

  18. Great job Ryan Preece!!!!!

  19. Reports say France was name dropping Trump through the arrest and processing. Yeah, he has lived a life of privilege and exceptionalism. Law and order does not apply to Brian France. His previous record will be hard to avoid now. At 56, and apparently decades of substance abuse, his hubris will make this even harder to remedy. It will be interesting to see how this plays out… this time.

  20. Folks, it’s hypocrisy, yes, it is. Just because Brian France has a history of substance abuse, and this recent incident, does not mean it is wrong for NASCAR to enforce the rules against others that are dealing with substance abuse issues. It’s simply a perfect demonstration of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy does not nullify law and order.

  21. Crazy in NY says:

    Law and order does not apply to Brian France

    …or Hillary Clinton but hey…I don’t want to start anything.

  22. theodore w arns says:

    Hay goodfella, what would you say if you were over the legal limit got stopped by a drunk cop who wrote you a dwi its just law and order. will fans protest stafford because the sanctioning body owner committed a crime i think not now that is true hypocrisy.

  23. WOW, such venom for a person many of you have probly never met. I have met Brian. He’s far from self righteous, and entitled, actually quite the opposite.One thing forgotten is that Brian is powerless as far as the day to day operation of NASCAR,he just collects a big check. As far as the Waterford Toilet Bowl goes NASCAR revoked the sanction because the property is owned by a pedifile. Good move by NASCAR. If Bemer were to sell the property, the new owner would most likely be able to get a sanction. Regardless that was not a decision made by Brian Frances, it was made by a room full of people who actually run NASCAR. Back to Brian. Addiction is a disease, that wreaks havok among the families of it’s victims. I sincerely hope that Brian can get the help he needs moving forward, and keep his addiction in check. This is not something that you take a class, and it goes away it is a lifetime struggle, that has claimed many victims, you probly know someone struggling with addiction. It’s no joke, and rather than belittling Mr France, i would hope you’d offer some support.

  24. Crazy, since you did bring it up, Trump has been Tweeting that collusion is not illegal, except for Hillary and the Dems. INteresting since Trump has recently admitted to collusion with the Russians, and it wasn’t about adopting Russian orphans. LOL!

  25. wmass01013 says:

    SORRRY ROB u can meet and like him all u want, no sympathy for a guy DRIVING DRUNK WITH DRUGS ON HIM, TIRED of the addiction sympathy BS, what if the cops didn’t pull him over and a family was killed by him? and by the sounds he wasn’t just a lil over the limit, more than enough $$$ to get a ride or make other plans, and as CHAIRMAN AND CEO he is involved in day to day operations and has been criticized for not being around the garage more, lets Hope he goes away for good AND DOESNT HAVE A CHANCE FOR 3 strikes

  26. Viva race fan says:

    Wow this isn’t about Hillary and Trump.

    Let’s see do we all now drop the NASCAR cards we buy to support a 2 time Lexus drunk driver like Mr. France ?

    Poor Bruce who all but has been convicted before due process from the racing local community. He was the best thing for that track and what he did and would have done. Now Mr. France should be do the same to him stop tuning in ?

    I’m not going to judge till all the facts are out and they have there day in court. I’ll support NASCAR and Mr. Bemer till such process is over. Both are in a bad situation and need to hear all the facts.

    God Bless you all and see you at wheels and wings Saturday night with the turn 1 gang…

  27. Wmass, I agree, what he did was wrong, and luckily he was stopped. What I didn’t like was the venom shown by the people posting, making it seem like all the current problems with NASCAR are the fault of Brian Frances alone. And that Waterford Toilet Bowl losing its sanction was due to Brian alone. Plus let’s face it, with a legal level of .08 , 99% of us have driven legally drunk at one time or another. As far as the drugs, it has not been reported wether or not they were prescribed. In allot of states you must carry your prescription bottle with you, although some people, myself included carry only what they need for the time. So like Bemer, he is being assumed guilty before due process. It’s also rumored that Bemer pled guilty, but is cooperating with prosecutors in New York, that’s why there hasn’t been any court proceedings.

  28. wmass01013 says:

    But as the Chairman and CEO u need to be visible and lead like his father did and grandfather started especially with the decline in attendance and tv ratings and losing sponsors yearly. when u have Bigtime names saying he needs to be more involved and if u watch his giving the championship trophy to Truex Jr. he looked wasted and in a rush to get to the booze n pills, they wouldn’t charge him with possession if was legal prescription, sure many problems with NASCAR may not be directly his fault but his actions since 2003 have done nothing to HELP!

  29. Joe Lajoie says:

    brian france is the poster child of a 3rd generation family member killing a business.

  30. Again Wmass, totally agree with you. Except for one thing. Prescription medication absent from the prescription bottle are in most states considered to be illegally possessed. I know this from personal experience. I had a prescription for Vicodin once, and had put a few pills in my cupholder, rather than carrying all 90 pills in the bottle. I was pulled over for speeding and ended up getting arrested for possession. Once I brought the prescription bottle to the police station the charge was dropped.As for Me France, he was the CEO, and should have conducted himself better, that is agreed. Had he not been the CEO of NASCAR, would we have even heard of this incident? DUI’S happen every day, everywhere, yet we only hear of them when a person of status is involved

  31. One other thing. Although in my case the charge of possession was dropped, the record of arrest remained.

  32. Walter Maguire says:

    Joe LaJoie is right on the money.

  33. Rob p., DUI/DWI/OUI by regular people are indeed in the news, when accompanied by tragic accidents.

    Are Don J. Trump Jr. and Eric Trump 3rd generation? I think it was their great-grandfather that started brothels in Canada during the gold rush. That’s how the Trumps got started in the hospitality business.

  34. Yes dareal ,everyday people arrested for DUI are in the news when their actions result in a tradgedy, but Mr everyday normal guy who gets arrested for DUI after running a stop sign is never mentioned. Had Brian Frances been just a regular guy, and not the CEO of NASCAR,we would have never known of his arrest. Worst part is, he’ll probably plead guilty, make a contribution to a local charity, and the charge will disappear, where an everyday normal guy would probably get probation or jail time, and a huge fine as well as losing their license for a few years.

  35. Goodfella what is wrong with you no body on here wants to here your Trump BS you need help get over it your girl lost.

  36. Hillary 2028 says:

    Rumored? So the actual news story that came out over the winter that he plead not guilty and was offered probation with no jail time by the prosecution was fake news? Or did he change his mind?

  37. And Rob p., the “venom” you spoke of was people that are fed up with guys like France making a donation to some charity or police union, and everything goes away, but the regular guys aren’t so lucky. For somebody like France to pay a few bucks is no sweat off his brow at all. He laughs at what he gets away with. A few bucks to a police union or charity is a windfall to them, and nothing but pocket dust to France.

    Hillary, he was offered a no jail time deal and turned it down. Don’t recall the other details of the plea deal.

  38. James Comey says:

    Sounds like someone is suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome…….LOL

  39. Great job dareal!!!
    I agree 100 percent and i have a masters and a 180 iq

  40. Revenue down for NASCAR? Who knows they are a closed corporation. But International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. — the publicly owned corporations that operate 20 of the Cup series’ 23 tracks are down 49% from 2007-08 to 2016. NASCAR for sale? Last news I could find is the France family in May was consulting Goldman Sachs on sale options and opportunities.
    NASCAR’s mistakes and current problems have little to do with Brian France. But what better symbol for a fossilized organization frozen between past success and a future they are trying to grasp then to have an aging, legacy executive with substance abuse issues as the face of the company. And getting caught in a cliche of a car in a cliche of a location and completely away from the roots of NASCAR’s success. It’s all so pathetic.

  41. Ed Pannoni says:

    Does anyone see the irony in the fact that a sport with its roots and seed money coming from bootlegging moonshine now has effectively canned their CEO for being a substance abuser. The farther up you go, the faster you fall, and considering the state of the sport today annd its decline that by no coincidence follows the timeline of his term as CEO, there ain’t gonna be nobody with a net to break his fall. First he should have been at the Glen instead of 350 mile away. Bet if the cops asked him who had won the race he wouldn’t know. Second you don’t hire Goldman Sachs considering they don’t work for chump change, a week after you buy ARCA, unless you are seriously considering selling out before your wealth takes more of a hit becuase of your inept leadership. Buying ARCA was just window dressing in my opinion, to make NASCAR even more attractive to prospective buyers. I hope he gets whatever help he needs, but if he is out of NASCAR permanently that’s the best news we’ve had since he took over in 2003. Buh bye.

  42. Crazy in NY says:

    Right on Ed. It would have better if ARCA bought NASCAR but….little fish don’t eat the big ones.
    Let NASCAR fail. Stock car racing will rebound and the new form we might like.

  43. What does this have to do with Trump? Are you just trying to start trouble or what? It’s not necessary to bring up politics. France runs Nascar poorly and has a lot to do with the decline of the sport.

  44. Dick T, France was name dropping Trump while he was being arrested and processed. It’s funny. Perhaps France thinks Trump will pardon him. LOL!!! The way Trump has turned on law enforcement, name dropping Trump while being arrested and processed is not a smart move.

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