On Friday, NASCAR announced that it has suspended Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch indefinitely. The suspension comes after a judge ruled Busch choked and beat his a former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.
"The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that, on September 26, 2014, Respondent [Busch] committed an act of domestic violence against Petitioner [Driscoll] by manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand on her chin and face and smashing her head into the wall of his motor home.
"[Busch's] version of the events is implausible, does not make sense and is unlikely to be true given the totality of the other evidence admitted at trial.
"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," commissioner David Jones wrote in ruling.
"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 said in a statement.
"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.
"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," Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin said.
"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," Driscoll said.
"As we stated last year, NASCAR fully recognized the serious nature of the specific situation involving Kurt Busch and really 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.
"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. We want to make it clear that any inference that there is a culture or tolerance for this type of behavior is patently false," NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said.
"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," Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer said in a statement.
"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," Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Motorsports and Performance Vehicles, said in a statement.
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