NASCAR Suspends Kurt Busch indefinitely Ahead of Daytona 500 in Wake of Protective Order hearing for Ex-Grlfriend Patricia Driscoll (Update: Appeal Denied)
Hmm, before any criminal charges have been made, NASCAR has suspended Kurt Busch indefinitely ahead of Daytona 500 … I guess it does not help when your nickname is “The Outlaw”.
Ahead of NASCAR’s biggest race, The Daytona 500, NASCAR has suspended driver Kurt Busch indefinitely, effectively immediately. The suspension is in the wake of a Family Court of the State of Delaware granting Kurt Busch’s ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, a protective order, stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident that occurred on September 26, 2014 where Busch is accused of choking her. Kurt Busch and his legal team have denied the allegations and have put forth that notion that Patricia Driscoll is woman scorned, who has set out on a path to destroy Busch. It is a case of she said, he said, with a twist, a bizarre twist. Kurt Busch says his ex is a “trained assassin”.
NASCAR has suspended driver Kurt Busch for an indefinite period of time, which means he will not be in Sunday’s Daytona 500, pending an appeal.
“Given the serious nature of the findings and conclusions made by the Commissioner of the Family Court of the State of Delaware, NASCAR has indefinitely suspended Kurt Busch, effective immediately,” NASCAR said in a statement. “He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.”
Busch will appeal the decision, but Regan Smith has been named his official replacement and will fill Busch’s seat on Sunday.
“We are extremely disappointed that NASCAR has suspended Kurt Busch and we plan an immediate appeal,” Busch’s attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement. “We assure everyone, including NASCAR, that this action against Mr. Busch will turn out to be a travesty of justice, apparent to all, as this story continues to unfold.”
The former champion and current driver for Stewart-Haas has spent the last six months embroiled in a dispute with his former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. The precipitating event was an incident at Dover, Del., last fall in which Busch allegedly choked Driscoll. During that Sept. 26 incident at Busch’s motor home, Busch claimed he simply “cupped her head” and she struck her head by accident, while Driscoll claimed she was choked and thrown into a wall.
NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch for actions detrimental to stock car racing following the release today of a supplemental disposition setting forth the findings and conclusions that formed the basis for the Family Court of the State of Delaware’s decision on Monday to issue an Order of Protection from Abuse against him.
Busch, driver of the No. 41 car, was found to be in violation of:
• Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
• Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty
“Given the serious nature of the findings and conclusions made by the Commissioner of the Family Court of the State of Delaware, NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch, effective immediately. He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.
“Kurt Busch and his Stewart-Haas Racing team are fully aware of our position and why this decision was made. We will continue to respect the process and timetable of the authorities involved.”
This is the first driver that NASCAR has ever suspended for domestic violence. It appears the NFL has spread to NASCAR. Obviously NASCAR felt the need to get ahead of this issue, having seen how badly NFL Roger Goodell handled the Ray Rice knock out of his girlfriend in a hotel elevator last year. Even before criminal charges were filed, NASCAR has decided to put the brakes on Kurt Busch.
It’s important to note that Busch has not yet been charged with any crime in the alleged incident — that is still an open investigation with the Delaware Attorney General’s office.
And let’s be clear: There are plenty of people in the NASCAR garage area who have their own opinions about Driscoll, her motives and her credibility.
But Jones’ ruling regarding the protective order was worded so strongly in Driscoll’s favor that it left NASCAR with no choice but to suspend Busch — especially in light of recent high-profile cases of domestic abuse or assault involving athletes, particularly NFL players Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson.
The American public appears to have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to public figures and domestic abuse.
Patricia Driscoll Granted Restraining Order Against Kurt Busch
UPDATE I: Kurt Busch’s suspension upheld by panel.
An appeals panel upheld NASCAR’s indefinite suspension of driver Kurt Busch on Saturday, one day after the sanctioning body handed down punishment based on the findings of a Delaware family court.
NASCAR announced the decision from its headquarters at the International Motorsports Center, where Busch’s appeal was heard by a three-member panel consisting of Mr. Paul Brooks, Ms. Lyn St. James and Mr. Kevin Whitaker.
Busch will file a final appeal to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Bryan Moss.