NASCAR Suspends Driver Kurt Busch Indefinitely!
Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch has been suspended indefinitely for actions detrimental to stock car racing, NASCAR announced Friday.
Earlier Friday it was ruled that Busch smashed his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll's head against his motor home wall Sept. 26 at Dover International Speedway, according to the conclusions of a Kent County, Delaware family court commissioner, who granted Driscoll's request for a protective order Monday.
"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," NASCAR said in a statement. "He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.
The Court found "by a preponderance of the evidence", that 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, according to commissioner David Jones.
As part of his decision, Jones will require Busch "to be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional" and complete any further steps for treatment that person recommends. Jones wrote that he would not require Busch to enter into a "batterer's intervention program," because in his opinion, Busch did not profile as a habitual "power and control batterer." Jones characterized the incident of domestic violence as "likely situational in nature."
Busch claims Driscoll entered his motor home uninvited -- the couple had broken up a week earlier -- and he cupped her face with his hands while repeatedly asking her to leave.
In his opinion released Friday, Jones wrote that Driscoll's version of the events that night was more credible, citing, among other things, her demeanor when she recalled and described the events of that night.
Both sides tried to shed doubt and attacked each other's credibility during the family court hearing, which at times took bizarre turns. Busch has asked Jones to reconsider the ruling, and Jones has still not decided whether to reopen the case.
Driscoll characterized Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, as battling alcoholism and depression leading up to the alleged assault. Busch testified he was afraid of Driscoll, whom he believed was a trained assassin because of the stories and photos she had shared with him.
Busch was scheduled to race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, where he was slated to start 24th in the Daytona 500, the sport's biggest event. Regan Smith will replace Busch behind the wheel of the Stewart-Haas Racing Car #41 in Daytona Sunday.