NASCAR Executive Charged with DWI and Drug Possession in Sag Harbor

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Brian France speaking during an appearance at Richmond Raceway.
Brian Z. France after being arrested Sunday night in Sag Harbor.

Brian Z. France, 56, the chairman and CEO of NASCAR since 2003, announced he will take “an indefinite leave of absence” from his position following his arrest in Sag Harbor Sunday night.

Mr. France was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance, seventh degree — all misdemeanors — by Sag Harbor Village Police on Sunday, August 5, after he was stopped at 7:30 p.m. for allegedly running a stop sign while driving north on Main Street in his white, 2017 Lexus. He was pulled over by police on Wharf Street.

Police alleged that they found Mr. France to be in an intoxicated state after they pulled him over. According to Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Austin J. McGuire, when police searched Mr. France they found him in possession of five oxycodone pills in his front pants pocket. He was arrested, held overnight for arraignment in Sag Harbor Village Justice Court Monday morning, where he was released on his own recognizance.

On Tuesday, Chief McGuire said Mr. France was “completely compliant during his arrest” and only mentioned his position with NASCAR when asked about his place of employment.

On Monday afternoon, Mr. France announced in a statement that he will take a leave of absence from his position as chairman and CEO of NASCAR, effective immediately.

“I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night,” said Mr. France in his statement.

NASCAR has announced that vice chairman and executive vice president Jim France, Brian France’s uncle, has assumed the role of interim chairman and CEO.

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Peter Boody is news editor of The Sag Harbor Express. Previously he was the editor of the Southampton Press for many years and also edited several other papers, including the Shelter Island Reporter and the East Hampton Press, of which he was founding editor. He was a regular correspondent for the New York Times Long Island section and wrote the novel “Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me.”