NASCAR on Friday indefinitely suspended Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch after a Kent County (Del.) Family Court commissioner issued his opinion detailing the domestic violence acts allegedly committed by Busch against his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.
The Observer first reported the suspension on Friday afternoon.
"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," a NASCAR statement said. "We will continue to respect the process and timetable of the authorities involved."
Xfinity Series driver Regan Smith will replace Busch in Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 41 Chevrolet in Sunday's Daytona 500, the team confirmed.
In his order on Monday, Kent County (Del.) Family Court commissioner David Jones found "by a preponderance of the evidence" that Busch committed an act of domestic violence against Driscoll.
On Friday in a 25-page written opinion, of copy of which has been obtained by The Observer, Jones said he believed Busch "manually strangled" Driscoll in a confrontation in his motorhome on Sept. 26, 2014. The commissioner also believed there was "substantial likelihood" Busch could commit similar matters in the future.
The commissioner also found that Driscoll provided "false testimony" at times during the hearing but believed enough independent evidence existed to find merit in Driscoll's claim.
sought the order after alleging Busch smashed her head against the wall
of his motorhome three times during last September's NASCAR race weekend
at Dover, Del.
The Dover (Del.) Police Department investigated Driscoll's complaint
but elected to send its findings to the Delaware Attorney General with
no recommendation. The Attorney General's office has yet to decide
whether to seek any criminal charges against Busch.
Among the restrictions placed on Busch by the order:
- Busch cannot
threaten, molest, attack, harass or commit any other act of abuse
against Driscoll and any minor children in her household.
- Busch cannot come with 100 yards of Driscoll's person, residence or
workplace. At NASCAR races, Busch must maintain a "practicable distance"
from Driscoll if both are in attendance.
- Busch cannot attempt to contact Driscoll in any way.
- Busch must be evaluated for "mental health problems" and follow any recommendations by the evaluator.