UPDATE: Kurt Busch has filed an appeal on his indefinite suspension, paying $500 for a three-member NASCAR panel to hear his case Saturday morning. If the appeal is lifted, it is unclear whether Busch would even still drive in the Daytona 500 as his Stewart-Haas Racing team has already named Regan Smith as a replacement. Rusty Hardin, Busch’s lawyer in the protective order case is not allowed to be present for the appeal, which will be heard in Daytona Beach.
OFFICIAL NASCAR STATEMENT
NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch for actions detrimental to stock car racing following the release today of a supplemental disposition setting forth the findings and conclusions that formed the basis for the Family Court of the State of Delaware’s decision on Monday to issue an Order of Protection from Abuse against him.
Busch, driver of the No. 41 car, was found to be in violation of:
· Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
· Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty
“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.
“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.”
NASCAR VICE PRESIDENT STEVE O’DONNELL
“As we stated last year, NASCAR fully recognized the serious nature of the specific situation involving Kurt Busch, and the broader issue of domestic violence. Based on our review of the available details, including the court’s findings that were released earlier today, NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch. He has been indefinitely suspended based on the rulebook for Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing, and Section 12.8, which is a behavioral penalty.
“Kurt Busch and Stewart-Haas Racing are fully aware of why we made this decision, and as with any suspended membership, Kurt will have the right to appeal, and if he does elect to appeal, NASCAR will expedite the appeals process.
“NASCAR has made it very clear to our entire membership and the broader industry that any actions of abuse will not be tolerated in the industry. I want to make it clear that any inference that there is a culture or a tolerance for this type of behavior is patently false.
“We do not plan to comment further tonight, as this is an ongoing legal matter in Delaware, so we won’t be taking any questions.”
RUSTY HARDIN, KURT BUSCH’S ATTORNEY
We are extremely disappointed that NASCAR has suspended Kurt Busch and we plan an immediate appeal. We assure everyone, including NASCAR, that this action against Mr. Busch will turn out to be a travesty of justice, apparent to all, as this story continues to unfold.
We are confident that if the Commissioner agrees to hear newly available evidence that contradicts the testimony of Ms. Driscoll, he will be able understand the actions of that night as well as Ms. Driscoll’s character and motivations and reconsider his judgment. He has already found that Ms. Driscoll lied under oath at least once. Our newly available evidence will make it clear that much more of her testimony was untruthful and was purposefully kept from the Commissioner by Ms. Driscoll’s attempts to intimidate and threaten witnesses.
It is important for everyone to remember that the Commissioner’s report has to do with a civil, family law matter and no criminal charges have been filed against Mr. Busch.
We ask everyone’s patience as this case continues in the court of law and are confident that when the truth is known Mr. Busch will be fully vindicated and back in the driver’s seat.
PATRICIA DRISCOLL STATEMENT
For victims of domestic violence, there are no “victories.” My only hope is that the pain and trauma I suffered through this process will help other victims find their voice. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where stories like mine are often swept under the rug out of fear and with the knowledge that for every person who shows empathy, many more will seek to disparage the victim. It is bad enough to endure the actual physical abuse but the verbal attacks that follow when a victim speaks up are sometimes just as painful.
Today, NASCAR took an important step and deserves to be commended. The next steps are to develop a thorough process and policies that reenforce the organization’s position it took today: Domestic violence will not be tolerated in NASCAR.
STEWART-HAAS RACING (THROUGH SPOKESMAN MIKE ARNING)
“We understand NASCAR’s position regarding Kurt Busch and accept their decision. We are in the midst of finalizing our plans for the Daytona 500 and we will announce those details as soon as we’re ready.”
CHEVROLET VICE PRESIDENT JIM CAMPBELL
“Chevrolet has suspended its relationship with Kurt Busch indefinitely. We will continue to monitor the events surrounding Mr. Busch and are prepared to take additional action if necessary.”
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