Kurt Busch Loses Final NASCAR Appeal, Will Miss Daytona 500
Busch was suspended by NASCAR for actions that were deemed “detrimental to stock car racing”on February 20. NASCAR made their decision after a Delaware family court ruled that it was likely the 36-year old driver made “an act of domestic violence” against ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll by “manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat.” The incident allegedly took place on September 24, 2014.
Busch challenged NASCAR’s decision twice this weekend, according to CNN’s Steve Almasy. Immediately following the announcement of his suspension, Busch filed an appeal with a three-member panel which denied his request. He then took his case to NASCAR’s final appeals officer Brian Moss, but it was also denied.
Driscoll has claimed that Busch grabbed her by her throat and slammed her head into a wall into Busch’s motor home at Dover International Speedway. Busch has not been charged with a crime and the case is currently with the state’s attorney general’s office.
Rusty Hardin, Busch’s attorney, vowed that his client will challenge the court’s decision. Hardin, who claimed that Driscoll fabricated her domestic violence claims when the allegations first surfaced, said that the court’s decision “will turn out to be a travesty of justice.”
“We are unhappy with the latest decision to deny our re-appeal, but we will continue to exhaust every procedural and legal remedy we have available to us until Kurt Busch is vindicated. Along the way, we intend to continue to call attention to the facts and witnesses that will shed light on Ms. Driscoll’s true character, motivations and history.”
NASCAR has not indicated what Busch would have to do to get back into the driver’s seat. However, during the penalty phase, officials said that he “will not be allowed to race or participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.”
This is the third time Busch has missed a race as a result of his transgressions off the track. He was fired by Rousch Fenway Racing with two races left following an incident with Maricopa County (Arizona) sheriff’s deputies during a traffic stop near Phoenix International Raceway. In 2012, he was suspended for one race for “verbal abuse of a media member’ during a post-race interview.
Busch has won 25 races during his 15-year NASCAR career and won the 2004 Cup Series championship. Stewart-Haas Racing has replaced Busch with Regan Smith in the No. 41 Chevrolet for today’s race. Kurt is not the only Busch who won’t race in the prestigious race, as his brother, Kyle, is out with a leg injury he suffered when he crashed head-on into an interior wall that did not have an energy-absorbing SAFER barrier.
[Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images]