NASCAR suspends Kurt Busch indefinitely over domestic abuse case

Kurt Busch has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR ahead of the Daytona 500, following the release of findings of a family court regarding the domestic abuse case involving his ex-partner

NASCAR suspends Kurt Busch indefinitely over domestic abuse case

Earlier this week the family court of the State of Delaware granted Patricia Driscoll's request for a protective order against Busch, and the findings released on Friday stated that he strangled Driscoll before "smashing her head into the wall of his motor home" during an argument at Dover International Speedway.

Criminal charges have not yet been filed against Busch, as Commissioner David Jones's report relates to a civil, family law matter, and the case is set to continue in a court of law.

The 2004 Cup champion will be replaced at Daytona by one-time race winner Regan Smith, who filled in for Busch's team boss Tony Stewart after he was involved in a fatal sprint car accident last summer.

Busch, who has also had his ties with Stewart-Haas manufacturer Chevrolet suspended, has appealed his suspension by NASCAR. That is set to be heard on Saturday.

Speaking to the media at Daytona on Friday, NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell stressed that the sport's governing body takes domestic abuse very seriously.

"As we stated last year, NASCAR fully recognised the serious nature of the specific situation involving Kurt Busch and the broader issue of domestic violence," he said.

"Based on our review of the available details, including the court's findings that were released earlier today, NASCAR has indefinitely suspended 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."

Busch's legal representative Rusty Hardin described the matter as "a travesty of justice", adding that his side are "confident" Busch's name will be cleared "as the story continues to unfold".

Commissioner Jones wrote in his findings that 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".

However, Busch's legal team is hopeful that it can get the case reopened so that the commissioner can "hear newly available evidence that contradicts the testimony of Ms. Driscoll".

In a short statement, the Stewart-Haas team said: "We understand NASCAR's position regarding Kurt Busch and accept their decision."

The team has not yet made any plans for Busch's #41 entry beyond this weekend's Daytona 500.

Busch was set to start the race 24th, but due to the driver change Smith will have to line-up at the back for the season-opener.

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