Kurt Busch has begun NASCAR’s process for reinstatement after being indefinitely suspended by the sanctioning body just days before the Daytona 500.
According to a report from NBC Sports, Busch signed the agreement to NASCAR’s terms at the end of last week. NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications vice president David Higdon said there was no timetable set for Busch’s reinstatement.
“The outside experts, one of the things they had advised us from the beginning was no matter what actions we take … that it was very, very important for us to provide a road back,’’ said Higdon, who did not reveal the specific terms Busch must meet. “For those who are experts in this field, specifically in domestic violence, that is critical. We did follow that advice. We’re pleased that he has indicated he will begin the program that we have laid out for him.’’
Higdon explained several outside sources were also consulted in the reinstatement process.
“There’s a team in place here, several members of our executive team who work on what we think our expectations are, and then we go outside to experts in the particular area,’’ he said. “ We get recommendations on people who should be assigned to work with us on it. Then we provide that information to the driver and hope and expect that they will abide by those rules.’’
Monday morning, Joe Custer, executive vice president of Stewart-Haas Racing issued a statement supporting Busch in the reinstatement process.
“We understand Kurt Busch has begun the process for reinstatement as a NASCAR member,” Custer said. “NASCAR has laid out its expectations for Kurt, and while there is no timetable to meet those expectations, Kurt’s willingness to embrace the conditions set forth by NASCAR is a positive step that we support.”
Busch was suspended in the aftermath of findings released by a Delaware Family Court Commissioner that indicated abuse had occurred, causing ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll to file for an order of protection. Both appeals submitted by the 2004 champion were denied by NASCAR.
XFINITY Series driver Regan Smith piloted the No. 41 Chevrolet in Busch’s absence at Daytona and Atlanta and will once again run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Future races will be announced by the organization on a week by week basis.