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NASCAR's France family member caught with crack cocaine

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Breaking news -

DAYTONA BEACH -- Grand-Am driver J.C. France and his housemate were arrested Thursday after police stopped them for racing each other over the Seabreeze Bridge, and the friends were charged with DUI and possession of crack cocaine, police said.


France's housemate, 40-year-old Russell Van Richmond, also was charged with threatening a female officer, after he blurted out several statements, including, "I want your commander now. I am a France. Do you know what that means? We own this city."

J.C. France is the son of Grand-Am founder Jim France and grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France, and Richmond is the son of one of Jim France's former wives.

Richmond's diatribe didn't faze the officer. She slapped handcuffs on Richmond and both he and France, 43, were hauled off to the Volusia County Branch Jail, reports show.

The men were arrested separately just after midnight Thursday when Daytona Beach Capt. Steve Szabo spotted them speeding over the bridge - France in a 2007 green Lamborghini and Richmond in a 2003 Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle, according to reports.

A woman riding in the front seat with Richmond - who said she hardly knew him - told police, "He (Richmond) was going so fast, I put my seat belt on," the report states.

France was nabbed in Holly Hill at 12:33 a.m. after he failed to stop for an officer who had activated the lights and siren on his patrol car, police said. France pulled into a parking lot at 261 Ridgewood avenue, the report states.

With flushed face, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, France attempted to get out of the sports car, using the vehicle to support himself, police said. France failed the field sobriety test and when the officer searched his pockets, he found a plastic bag with a "white cake-like powder" that turned out to be cocaine, the report states.

Richmond, meanwhile, did not go as quietly.

He was stopped a few minutes later at 12:49 a.m. at Fairview Avenue and Ridgewood. When the officer asked Richmond to step out of his SUV so she could conduct a DUI investigation, Richmond immediately objected.

"Oh no you're not. Do you know who I am?" Richmond asked the policewoman.

When the officer ignored the question and kept trying to get Richmond's cooperation for the test, he kept spouting off comments, including, "I am a France" and, "We own this city." The latter was repeated loudly, according to the report.

At one point during the traffic stop, Richmond called Szabo over. The captain, who was standing nearby, asked Richmond what he could do to assist him.

"Do you know who I am? You are done," the report said Richmond told Szabo. "I am gonna have your job. This is the biggest mistake ever. You are so done in Daytona."

Richmond's last words to police, "Oh, (expletive deleted)" - were uttered after the officer rifled through his pants pockets and also found a plastic bag with cocaine in it, the report shows.

Officers also located a silver capsule-like object attached to Richmond's keys. Inside was a single tablet with the word and numbers, "Watson 932," the imprint code for hydrocodone, the report shows.

France and Richmond were charged with DUI and possession of cocaine. Richmond was also charged with possession of hydrocodone and threat by corruption of a public official. Both men were out of jail Thursday afternoon, France on $4,500 bail and Richmond on $10,500.

France is expected to be suspended immediately and indefinitely by Grand-Am, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. NASCAR owns the Grand-Am circuit.

Neither France nor Richmond could be reached for comment Thursday.

No one was at the house, valued at $1 million, that they share on Revilo Boulevard. The residence, which sits on the east bank of the Halifax River, is surrounded by overgrown plants and a lawn with ankle-high grass.
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"A woman riding in the front seat with Richmond - who said she hardly knew him - told police, "He (Richmond) was going so fast, I put my seat belt on," the report states."

Geniuses hang out with geniuses. :D
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