Racecar Driver Admits to Wild-Chase Charges

     ST. GEORGE, Utah (CN) – A former NASCAR driver who led police on a 150 mph chase through three states pleaded guilty this week to five charges, but may avoid prison time.
     Tyler Walker, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to felony counts of failure to stop for an officer and possession of a controlled substance.
     Walker, 35, also pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors: impaired driving, possession of drug paraphernalia and having an open container of alcohol in his car.
     The Utah Highway Patrol arrested Walker in 2013 after a chase through southern Nevada and into Arizona and Utah, along the Virgin River Gorge.
     Police said they found methamphetamine, marijuana and vodka in Walker’s BMW.
     Nobody was hurt in the chase.
     Walker’s passenger, described as his wife at the time of the arrest, pleaded guilty to drug charges this year and received probation.
     Walker appeared in court on Tuesday in St. George.
     The hearing was the 13th time Walker’s case was rescheduled for a plea agreement.
     Earlier this month, Judge Eric Ludlow ordered an arrest warrant after Walker again failed to appear in person or mail a signed copy of an agreement.
     Ludlow said he will withdraw the warrant.
     Walker’s felonies pleas each carry a possibility of up to five years in prison.
     He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23, 2015, but his attorney, Trevor Terry, told The Associated Press that he expects Walker to get probation.
     Terry said doctors discovered that Walker, a fourth-generation driver, sustained brain damage from his many crashes while racing, which may have contributed to his problems.
     “He’s not saying that meth use is an acceptable way to cope with that, but that’s what happened,” Terry said.
     Walker, whose full name is Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker, was suspended in 2007 for violating NASCAR’s drug policy after competing in 28 races.

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