NASCAR suspends Kurt Busch indefinitely after court ruling
NASCAR has indefinitely suspended Kurt Busch following a ruling that he committed an act of domestic abuse against former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.
Busch was found to be in violation of:
"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," NASCAR said in a statement issued at 6:10 p.m. ET Friday.
"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."
Kent County (Delaware) Commissioner David Jones ruled earlier Friday that "it is more likely than not" that Busch "committed an act of abuse" against Driscoll during a dispute last Sept. 26, 2014, at Dover International Speedway.
Jones’ full ruling in favor of Driscoll’s request for a protective order barring Busch from contacting her was released Friday afternoon. In his ruling, Jones said Busch "committed an act of domestic violence" against Driscoll "by manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand on her chin and face and smashing her head into the wall of his motor home, thereby recklessly placing (Driscoll) in reasonable fear of physical injury."
Busch’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, subsequently released a statement saying that Busch plans to appeal his suspension from NASCAR, and that Busch’s legal team expects the commissioner to reverse his decision once new evidence is heard.
Thursday, Busch’s legal team issued a statement saying it had "filed a motion in the Delaware family court to reopen the hearings on the court ruling imposed against Mr. Busch on Monday."
On Monday, Jones ruled in favor of Driscoll’s request, but the full language of Jones’ ruling was not released until Friday.
Driscoll alleged that Busch smashed her face into the bedroom wall of his motorhome on the night of the incident, a charge Busch has repeatedly and vehemently denied.
Busch has not been charged criminally. The Delaware Attorney General’s Office, which has had the case since early December, has not decided whether or not Busch will be charged.
Jones’ order, which is good for one year, says Busch can’t buy or possess firearms or ammunition and must be evaluated for "mental health problems related to anger control and impulse control." It also orders him to stay 100 yards away from Driscoll except for "at NASCAR races and related events where closer proximity is required" for Busch to "perform his duties as a driver or sponsored athlete."
Meanwhile, in the wake of the news of Busch’s suspension, Chevrolet issued a statement attributed to Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Motorsports and Performance Vehicles.
"Chevrolet has suspended its relationship with Kurt Busch indefinitely," the statement said. "We will continue to monitor the events surrounding Mr. Busch and are prepared to take additional action if necessary."