Former NASCAR Racer Arrested Following Chase
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — A former NASCAR driver who pleaded guilty to leading deputies on a chase in his Corvette that reached speeds of 140 mph has been sentenced to a month in jail and probation.
James Neal pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor felony evasion while driving recklessly.
Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino says deputies tried to pull over the 56-year-old at 3 a.m. Monday on southbound Interstate 5 in San Clemente for a minor infraction, but he took off.
Amormino says Neal was arrested in San Diego County after his engine blew up.
NASCAR says Neal was a NASCAR track racer at the old Ascot Park track in Gardena in the early 1980s. He never won a national race.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — The driver of a Corvette who is accused of leading deputies in California on a high-speed chase for nearly 50 miles is a former NASCAR racer.
James Neal was arrested in San Diego County early Monday, and the 56-year-old San Clemente resident was booked into Orange County Jail, where bail is set at $25,000.
Sheriff's Lt. Mike Jansen says San Clemente deputies tried to pull over the 2003 Corvette for a traffic violation at about 3 a.m. but Neal refused to stop and raced along Interstate 5 to San Diego County at speeds up to 130 mph.
The Corvette's engine blew up in the La Jolla area and deputies arrested him without a struggle.
NASCAR officials say Neal was a NASCAR track racer at the old Ascot Park track in Gardena in the early 1980s. He never won a national race.
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