Police Investigate NASCAR Chairman's Car Crash

Associated Press
Friday, November 10, 2006; 3:51 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Police were investigating whether NASCAR chairman Brian France was given special treatment by authorities after crashing his car earlier this week.

Daytona Beach police chief Mike Chitwood "just wants to make sure everything was handled correctly," said police spokeswoman Sonja Wiles. "If not, there will be disciplinary measures,"

A police report from Monday night's accident said France, 44, had crashed his silver 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 witness Shirley Hill, who called 911 while driving on U.S. 1 where she said she saw France driving at a "very reckless speed," said France's car hit the tree after hitting a parked car.

Her statement was not attached to the police report -- an oversight, Chitwood told The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

"If I find out that someone gave him (France) a break because of his last name, someone is going to have to look for a new job," Chitwood told The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

NASCAR officials did not immediately comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

Hill said she watched as France's car went toward a parking garage at France's condominium and that the man "fell over his own feet" as he got out of his car.

Chitwood told the Daytona Beach Journal that officers at the scene spent about 90 minutes with France, but did not give him a field sobriety test because there was no probable cause.

© 2006 The Associated Press