NASCAR Suspends Kurt Busch — Daytona 500 Is A No-Go After Domestic Violence Ruling

Kurt Busch won’t be racing in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. NASCAR suspended him indefinitely after a judge made a ruling over a domestic violence case that involves Busch and his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll. The case stems back to an incident in September, 2014, when Busch reportedly smashed Driscoll’s head against the wall of his motor home at the Dover International Speedway in Delaware.

ESPN reports that the Kent County family court commissioner granted a request for a protective order for Driscoll earlier in the week, prompting Friday’s ruling that Busch committed “an act of domestic violence” against Driscoll by “manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat.”

Shortly after the judge’s ruling, NASCAR suspended Busch “indefinitely” for actions that felt were “detrimental to stock car racing.”

“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.”

According to the Daily Mail, Busch and Driscoll broke up one week prior to the incident that took place on September 26, 2014. Although the couple were no longer dating, court documents indicate that Driscoll was with Busch in his motorhome at Dover International Speedway when he started calling her names. The name-calling reportedly led to physical abuse, leading Driscoll to push the NASCAR driver away and run for help.

“He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself … he then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed.”

When the allegations against the NASCAR driver first surfaced in the news last fall, Kurt Busch’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, stated that his client disputed Patricia Driscoll’s claims, stating that her domestic violence claims were fabricated.

Driscoll, the president of the Armed Forces Foundation, reportedly met Busch in 2011 and made her then-boyfriend a spokesperson for the group shortly after they started dating. His relationship with the foundation ended in September 2014 “due to the serious nature of the [domestic violence] allegations.”

NASCAR states that police in Delaware have completed their investigation of the alleged assault and the judge on the case has confirmed that Busch’s actions were indeed an “act of domestic violence.” The case if currently with the attorney general’s office and it is not certain if Busch will face criminal charges.

ESPN reports that Kent County family court commissioner David Jones has ordered Busch to be “evaluated by a licensed mental health professional” but the NASCAR driver will not have to enter into an intervention program for batterers, stating that the incident was “situational in nature.”

“The assertion that [Busch] would be chastened from assaulting [Driscoll] for fear of the possibility of physical injury is further discredited, in the Court’s view, by the fact that [Busch] makes his living risking his life on an almost daily basis by aggressively driving a race car at speeds often approaching 200 miles per hour in close contact with others driving in the same manner, at the same speed.”

Kurt Busch’s suspension is indefinite, and he will not be allowed to race or participate in any NASCAR events until further notice.

[Image: the Big Lead]