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Nascar Boss Apologizes

Taylor K. Vecsey

Brian Z. France, the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, was arrested on Sunday night in Sag Harbor Village on drunken driving and drug charges. He has since taken a leave of absence from Nascar.

Village police said an officer saw the 56-year-old behind the wheel of a 2017 Lexus when he failed to stop at a stop sign on Main Street at about 7:30 p.m. He was pulled over on Wharf Street and, police said, appeared intoxicated. 

Police said they found oxycodone pills during a search.

Mr. France, who lives in Ormond Beach, Fla., was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor levied when a defendant’s blood alcohol level is .18 or above, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, also a misdemeanor.   

He was held overnight for a Monday morning court appearance. He appeared in Sag Harbor Village Justice Court alongside his attorney, Eddie Burke Jr., and was released on his own recognizance. 

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

A statement issued Monday by Nascar said: “We are aware of an incident that occurred last night and are in the process of gathering information. We take this as a serious matter and will issue a statement after we have all of the facts.”

According to Bloomberg News, Mr. France has been the C.E.O. at Nascar since October of 2003. Nascar’s corporate headquarters are in Daytona Beach, Fla. 

In an unrelated traffic stop, East Hampton Town police arrested Jake A. Lipson, 27, of Manhattan in Springs on July 29. Police said they found a cartridge of concentrated cannabis in a pocket of Mr. Lipson’s pants when they searched him. 

Police said they pulled over a 2008 Chevrolet on Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road, near Harbor View Drive, at about 2:45 a.m., after observing Mr. Lipson allegedly following another car too closely, failing to dim his high-beam headlights, and speeding at 50 miles per hour in a 40 m.p.h. zone. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests, according to police. 

He was charged with driving while intoxicated and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both misdemeanors. East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana released Mr. Lipson on his own recognizance later that day.

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