Travis Kvapil returned to work Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway following what he called “a domestic situation” involving his wife in the couple’s Mooresville, N.C., home on Tuesday night.
Kvapil, who drives the No 93 BK Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was charged with assault on a female and false imprisonment. He was released Wednesday morning and has a court date scheduled for Nov. 19 — two days after the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I deeply regret what has happened. However, we feel it is a family, personal matter and ask for respect and privacy as we try to work this out as a family," Kvapil told FOXSports.com. "I’m embarrassed. I’m ashamed of what happened. I certainly recognize the negativity this situation has brought on and I apologize to NASCAR, my team, supporters of my team and anyone who was impacted by the incident Tuesday night.”
Kvapil remains behind the wheel for BK Racing. He will start 41st on Saturday in the Sprint Cup race. On Thursday morning, team owner Ron Devine told FOXSports.com that “after discussions with NASCAR and the Kvapil family, BK Racing has elected to support Travis and his family. It’s the right thing for Travis and his family, to let the system take its course.”
According to court records reviewed by The Sporting News and cited by the Associated Press, Kvapil allegedly pulled his wife into a bedroom by her hair and struck her in the head. He is not permitted to return home and can only contact his wife by phone or email on matters concerning their children.
During the past 48 hours, Kvapil said, he had “time to reflect” on the situation and appreciates the outpouring of support the family has received. The couple has been married since 2002 and has three children ages 17, 10 and 6.
“What’s first and foremost is to get my family back on track,” Kvapil said. “It’s been tough on them, but we’ll stick together and we’ll get through this. Every day, life brings you challenges and certain situations arise. I definitely will learn from it. We’re taking it seriously. We’re not making light of it. We’ll go through the proper processes and do whatever is right for my family and work through it with them.
“It’s still pretty fresh and new. I’m thankful to Ron and BK Racing for standing beside me and supporting me while we do sort through this. Certainly NASCAR has taken a close look at this and they’re monitoring the situation. I appreciate them allowing me to stay involved here at Charlotte. I think it’s best to let things take its course and not jump to conclusions. Legally, we will work through the system and let things take its course.”
In a statement, NASCAR also indicated it will not punish Kvapil yet.
"NASCAR does not condone the actions with which Travis Kvapil has been charged and we are disappointed to learn of this incident," the statement said. "We have been in close communication with the race team and are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. NASCAR takes this matter very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation as it moves forward."
Kvapil, 37, is 31st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings. In 240 Cup starts, his best finish was a sixth at Talladega in 2008. Before Kvapil’s seven seasons on the Sprint Cup tour, he won the NASCAR truck championship in 2003.