Feb 19, 2015; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (41) before race two of the Budweiser Duels at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
NASCAR announced on Friday that Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch has been suspended indefinitely, with that suspension stemming from domestic abuse allegations made by Busch’s ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll.
In its penalty announcement, NASCAR cited sections 12.1.a (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and section 12.8 (behavioral penalty) of the NASCAR rule book.
"“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,” read a statement released by NASCAR on Friday evening. “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.”"
On Monday, Driscoll received an order of protection by Delaware Family Court. Driscoll sought the order because of an alleged incident in which she claims Busch strangled her and smashed her head against a wall in Busch’s motorhome at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Sept. 26.
While the protection order was issued early in the week, the reason for the decision was not released until Friday.
"“The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that, on September 26, 2014, Respondent [Busch] committed an act of domestic violence against Petitioner [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,” the written response from Commissioner David Jones read."
Jones’ statement also referred to Busch’s version of events as “implausible, does not make sense and is unlikely to be true given the totality of the other evidence admitted at trial.” Meanwhile, he said the incident, as described by Driscoll, was “likely situational in nature.”
Busch’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, filed a motion to re-open the protection order case on Thursday, accusing Driscoll of perjury and witness tampering.
Chevrolet, the manufacturer of the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet driven by Busch, also released a statement following the suspension announcement.
"“Chevrolet has suspended its relationship with Kurt Busch indefinitely,” the statement from Chevrolet Vice President of Motorsports and Performance Vehicles Jim Campbell read. “We will continue to monitor the events surrounding Mr. Busch and are prepared to take additional action if necessary.”"
After the announcement from Chevrolet came an announcement from Stewart-Haas Racing Executive Vice President Joe Custer that read, “We understand NASCAR’s position regarding Kurt Busch and accept their decision. We are in the midst of finalizing our plans for the Day9tona 500, and we will announce those details as soon as we’re ready.”
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver for JR Motorsports, Regan Smith, is expected to replace Busch in the SHR No. 41 car, according to several unnamed sources.