Those familiar with NASCAR and Kurt Busch know Kurt can be somewhat of a hothead, not unlike many other NASCAR drivers and other professional athletes.
The hard driving competitive spirit required to compete at professional levels such as Kurt Busch’s — one of only a few dozen or so top drivers in the world — can also come with its share of passion-driven emotion that doesn’t always lead to positive behaviors or outcomes, on and off the track.
So when news came out that domestic violence charges were being leveled against Kurt Busch for allegedly grabbing his girlfriend by the throat, and that Busch was being suspended indefinitely by NASCAR, many eyebrows raised, but it wasn’t particularly shocking — especially in the wake of other professional athletes being publicly called out from the domestic abuser locker room, Kurt Busch seeming to join the shamed ranks of Ray Rice and Hope Solo.
But in a stunning turn of events, prosecutors have suddenly dropped all charges against Kurt Busch, if not completely vindicating the NASCAR driver, allowing Busch an easier path toward getting back out on the track after missing the Daytona 500, reports AP.
The Delaware attorney general’s office announced Thursday that criminal charges against Busch would not be forthcoming, the available evidence not being enough to warrant their pursuit.
“After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the September 26th incident.”
But do the domestic violence charges being dropped against Kurt Busch mean he’s free and clear of his indefinite NASCAR suspension? Nope.
Yahoo Sports reports that in a statement released by NASCAR on Thursday afternoon, Kurt Busch’s reinstatement plan would still be in effect, whether the charges against Busch were dropped or not.
“NASCAR is aware of the Delaware Department of Justice announcement today regarding driver Kurt Busch. As we disclosed Monday, he has accepted the terms and conditions of a reinstatement program and is activelly participating in the program. Kurt Busch’s eligibility for reinstatement will continue to be governed by that program and the NASCAR Rule Book, though the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges certainly removes a significant impediment to his reinstatement.”
Regardless, those in Kurt Busch’s corner, specifically Busch’s attorney, Jim Ligouri, are pleased the charges have been dropped.
“All along, he knew he was going to be exonerated,” said Liguori. “The Department of Justice really did the right thing after considered review.”
And how does Ligouri feel about Kurt Busch’s accuser?
“She absolutely tried to destroy him in the press, ” said Liguori. “But the truth wins out, and the truth is its own defense.”
Yahoo Sports further reports that any specific timeline for Kurt Busch’s reinstatement has yet to be released by NASCAR.
[Image by Jared C. Tilton via Getty Images]