With France under a cloud, Haywood (left) became a winner again. (LAT photo)
JC France, grandson of Bill France, founder of NASCAR and son of Grand-Am founder Jim France, and a regular driver in Grand-Am's Rolex Series, was arrested last week in Daytona Beach in company with his reported house mate, Russell Van Richmond, on suspicion of driving under the influence and drug-related charges. Both men were subsequently released on bail, but NASCAR – which owns Grand-Am – subsequently issued a statement saying that France would be suspended from all competition.
“JC France was arrested last night in Daytona Beach, Fla, for driving under the influence. He was also charged for possession of cocaine,” NASCAR acknowledged. “JC is a driver in Grand American Road Racing series. Grand-Am has issued a penalty notice and suspended JC indefinitely from all competition for actions detrimental to racing. The penalty is not appealable.”
With France unavailable for the Rolex Series' season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, veteran Hurley Haywood was drafted in to replace him in the Brumos team's Porsche Riley – and proceeded to win the race in company with the team's other regular driver, Joao Barbosa.
Coming after the controversial suspension of NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's suspension for suspected drug-related offenses earlier this year, NASCAR made clear in its statement that it intends to follow the same procedures with the grandson of the company patriarch.
“JC is being treated like any other competitor. His suspension is immediate and indefinite,” NASCAR's statement concluded.