By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
Less than 24 hours after NASCAR looked to be leaving Watkins Glen on a high note, the actions of its chairman and chief executive officer, Brian France, have led to a shake-up in the highest levels of the sanctioning body.
According to a press release from the Sag Harbor, New York Police Department, France, who has served as NASCAR CEO since 2003, was arrested and taken into custody on Sunday night for “aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.”
“Mr. France was observed operating a 2017 Lexus northbound on Main Street failing to stop at a duly posted stop sign. 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.”
After being held overnight, he was released Monday morning.
Following a day full of speculation about what would happen to France and his future with NASCAR, it was made official Monday afternoon that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, leaving his uncle and current NASCAR Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France to take over as interim CEO and chairman.
“I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night,” Brian France said in a statement provided by NASCAR. “Effective immediately, I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my position to focus on my personal affairs.”