NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch is in the eye of the hurricane again.
The Dover (Del.) Police Department has launched a criminal investigation of an alleged domestic assault case involving Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing against his former girlfriend, Armed Forces Foundation President Patricia Driscoll. The incident was alleged to have happened during the Dover race weekend six weeks ago.
Police issued the following statement Friday:
"The Dover Police Department can confirm that an investigation is being conducted based on an allegation of domestic assault that is alleged to have occurred in the City of Dover involving Mr. Busch. These allegations were brought to the Dover Police Department on Wednesday, November 5th at 2:00PM. At this time, the department is still investigating the victim’s claims and will not have any further comment on this matter in order to preserve the integrity of the case. The Dover Police Department will release further information as it becomes available. We appreciate the public’s and media’s patience in this matter and are confident that the department is taking the proper investigative steps to ensure the case is resolved appropriately."
Driscoll, 36, said the allegations involved an incident inside his motorhome at a race at Dover International Speedway in September. The couple broke up about a week before.
Driscoll has filed court documents asking that a judge order Busch to stay away from her and not contact her. She also is asking that Busch undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be evaluated by a certified domestic violence treatment agency.
The documents, filed Wednesday, say Busch was despondent the night of Sept. 26 after his poor performance at the qualifying race.
"He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself," the documents say.
Driscoll said Busch, 36, called her names and accused her of "having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him." He then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed, the documents say.
Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran from the bedroom, going to a nearby bus to put an ice pack on her head and neck. She said the incident caused her severe pain, difficulty breathing and bruising on her neck.
A hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 2.
Through attorney Rusty Hardin, the man who represents Adrian Peterson in his child-abuse case, Busch has denied the allegations.
"The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr. Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light," Hardin said. "This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect. At this time we intend to have no further comment in the media out of respect for the Dover Police Department’s desire to conduct a thorough investigation without a media circus."
NASCAR issued its own statement saying, "NASCAR is aware of the investigation involving driver Kurt Busch. We recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment further on this matter until we have more information."
Busch is racing this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.
Since 2011, he has had a relationship with Driscoll, president of the Armed Forces Foundation, which has cut off its relationship to Busch in light of the investigation.
"I want to, first and foremost, express the direct support from the Board of Directors of the Armed Forces Foundation to Ms. Driscoll," said Pat LaFrieda, AFF Chairman of the Board, in a statement issued Friday. "For more than a decade, Ms. Driscoll has been a tireless worker and advocate for our nation’s service members, veterans, and military families. The Foundation will continue working to support service members, veterans, and military families and we ask that Ms. Driscoll’s privacy be respected.
"Given the serious nature of the allegations, the Foundation has suspended its association with Mr. Busch."