Brian France isn’t a professional driver, but you could argue the NASCAR CEO causes more trouble behind the wheel than any of the sport’s superstars.
The 56-year-old France was arrested Sunday night and charged with driving while intoxicated (DUI) and possession of oxycodone, TMZ Sports reported Monday. He was pulled over after driving his Lexus through a stop sign, and then proceeded to fail a field sobriety test before officers discovered drugs on his person.
With that in mind, let’s wind the clocks back to 2006, roughly three years after France took over as chairman of NASCAR.
France, also driving a Lexus at the time, crashed into a tree after entering a restaurant parking lot in Daytona Beach, Fla., according to The Associated Press. He told authorities the accident happened because he was drinking soda and “bumped into something.”
Now, maybe that’s what happened — but maybe it’s not.
Shirley Hill, a witness, told authorities she called 911 and reported France for driving at a reckless speed before the incident. She also said France hit a parked car before crashing into the tree, and “fell over his own feet” after exiting the vehicle.
Her statement, for reasons unknown, never was attached to the police report, according to the Press. France also never was given a field sobriety test.
As a result, Daytona police opened an investigation into whether authorities gave France preferential treatment “because of his last name,” then-Daytona Beach police chief Mike Chitwood said. Whether anyone ultimately lost their job is unknown.
France has taken an indefinite leave of absence in light of his arrest, NASCAR announced Monday. His uncle, Jim France, has assumed the role of interim CEO.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images