NASCAR chairman taking leave of absence after DWI, oxycodone possession arrest

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NASCAR mogul Brian France was arrested in New York's Hamptons for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone.

NASCAR mogul Brian France is taking a leave of absence after he was arrested in New York's Hamptons on charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone after he was seen blowing through a stop sign.

France, the chairman and CEO of the auto racing behemoth, was arraigned Monday at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court after a night in jail and released on his own recognizance.

"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 said in a statement that it takes France's arrest "as a serious matter and will issue a statement after we have all of the facts."

France, 56, was pulled over and arrested about 7:30 p.m. Sunday near the Sag Harbor waterfront. Officers saw indications of intoxication and found the pills during a subsequent search, police said.

TMZ first reported the arrest.

France has led NASCAR since 2003. He's a third-generation leader of the company, which his late grandfather, Bill France Sr., founded in 1948.

France called into a radio show last month to refute a report that his family was looking into selling its racing properties, saying his family was "locked and loaded in its dedication to NASCAR."

France was involved in a 2006 incident in Daytona Beach, Florida, when a police report stated he crashed his Lexus into a tree after entering a restaurant parking lot.

France later told an officer called to his home that he was drinking a soda and "bumped into something."

But a witness called 911 and gave police a statement that claimed she saw France driving at a "very reckless speed," and claimed France's car hit the tree after hitting a parked car.

She said she also watched as France "fell over his own feet" as he got out of his car.

Her statement was not attached to the police report, and the Daytona Beach police chief later investigated whether France was given special treatment by authorities.
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(Copyright ©2018 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)