Ex-NASCAR CEO Brian France files lawsuit over 'Drunk Brian France' Twitter account

Former NASCAR CEO Brian France left his post after a 2018 DWI arrest. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Former NASCAR CEO Brian France has filed a lawsuit against the operator of a parody Twitter account titled “Drunken Brian France.”

The suit, which was filed in Connecticut state court, alleges that the account operated by John Steele has been impersonating and targeting France. The handle of the Twitter account is “@DrunkBrianF.”

“Steele’s activity through @drunkbrianf is under the guise of [Brian France],” the suit says. “This includes the use of [France’s] name in the account name, the account handle and the use of a photograph of [France] as the account profile picture.”

“Steele’s tweets imply that [France] is the source of the content posted to the account. Steele’s use of the account is intended to deceive other twitter users — and anyone else accessing the account while online — to believe that the account belongs to [France].”

France was arrested for DWI in 2018

The avatar on the Drunk Brian France account is a picture of France’s mug shot from his August 2018 arrest. France was arrested in New York on Aug. 5, 2018, for DWI and drug possession. France entered a guilty plea in 2019 as part of a diversion agreement. When he was arrested, France had a blood alcohol level of .019 on the first reading and also allegedly had five oxycodone pills with him. His lawyer said he wasn’t prosecuted on the drug possession charge because he produced a prescription for the pills.

France took a leave of absence from his post as NASCAR’s CEO following that arrest and never returned. NASCAR’s current CEO is his uncle Jim France. Brian made his first public appearance at a NASCAR race since he left his post as CEO ahead of the Daytona 500 in February when he was spotted by pool reporters getting off of Air Force One with Donald Trump Jr.

France was NASCAR’s CEO for 15 years

Brian France took over as NASCAR’s CEO from his father Bill France Jr. in 2003. During his time as NASCAR’s CEO, France implemented a playoff system at the end of the NASCAR season to replace the season-long points format. NASCAR also introduced the “Car of Tomorrow” under his watch and the sanctioning body capitalized on its early 2000s boom period with its current TV contract worth over $4 billion.

You can view France’s suit in full here on the Connecticut state court site. It’s curious why such a prominent figure would file a suit against someone operating a Twitter account given the attention and lawyer fees involved with such an endeavor.

Per the suit, France has experienced “emotional distress” from the tweets by the Drunken Brian France account. That emotional distress is “severe.” It accuses the account of posting “highly offensive” tweets.

The suit asks for a jury trial and seeks unspecified damages in excess of $15,000.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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