NASCAR CEO Brian France will relinquish his role and take an “indefinite” leave of absence after he was arrested for driving under the influence.
France, who has been NASCAR’s CEO since 2003, was arrested on Sunday night by a police department in New York for alleged aggravated driving and for possession of a controlled substance.
He will now be replaced by his uncle and NASCAR vice chairman Jim France, who was crucial to NASCAR’s purchase of ARCA earlier this year, which unified the major organisations responsible for stock car racing in America.
Jim France, the son of NASCAR founder William HG France, also has an interest in the IMSA SportsCar Championship as its president. IMSA’s origins also trace back to the France family.
NASCAR confirmed the replacement in a short statement: “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 had been notably hands-off in his management of NASCAR, preferring to delegate his responsibilities and largely keeping a lower profile in the paddock.
He also released a statement apologising for his conduct.
“I apologise to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night,” read the statement.
“Effective immediately, I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my position to focus on my personal affairs.”
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.