DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Police were investigating whether NASCAR’s chairman got special treatment from authorities after crashing his car into a tree in a parking lot this week.

A police report said Brian France, 44, told an officer later called to his home that he was drinking a soda and “bumped into something” after entering the restaurant parking lot.

A woman who had called 911 from her car to report a wild driver told police in a statement that she saw France’s car travel at a “very reckless speed,” and that it hit a parked car before running into the tree.

She said she then watched France’s car travel toward a nearby parking garage at France’s condominium and that the man who got out “fell over his own feet.”

The woman’s statement was not attached to the police report. Police Chief Mike Chitwood said Friday that officers turned in the witness statement a day after filing the report; he said that has been a common problem at the department.

Police went to the condo and spent about 90 minutes with France, Chitwood said. The officers found spilled soda in the car and did not give France a sobriety test because there were no grounds to do so, Chitwood said.

Chitwood is investigating Monday’s accident “to make sure everything was handled correctly,” police spokeswoman Sonja Wiles said. “If not, there will be disciplinary measures.”

“Brian France cooperated fully with the Daytona Beach Police Department on Monday night at the time of the incident and remains available for any follow-up questions they might have,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said.

Poston said France accidentally brushed against a tree or roadside stump.



On the Net:

http://www.nascar.com

AP-ES-11-10-06 1656EST



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