Delaware prosecutors will not file criminal charges against NASCAR driver Kurt Busch following allegations of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.
However, NASCAR officials indefinitely suspended Kurt Busch last month after a Delaware Family Court judge said the former champion almost surely choked and beat Patricia Driscoll inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway last fall.
Delaware attorney general’s office said on March 5 that there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges.
“After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the September 26th incident,” the attorney general’s office said in a prepared statement.
Jim Liguori, a local attorney for Kurt Busch, said the driver, known in NASCAR circles as “The Outlaw,” was thankful.
“All along, he knew he was going to be exonerated,” Jim Liguori said.
“The Department of Justice really did the right thing after considered review.”
“She absolutely tried to destroy him in the press, or tried to,” Jim Liguori added, referring to Patricia Driscoll.
“But the truth wins out, and the truth is its own defense.”
Patricia Driscoll said Kurt Busch assaulted her in September after she drove from her Maryland home to Dover to check on Busch after receiving a series of disturbing texts.
Kurt Busch and his attorneys have portrayed Patricia Driscoll as a scorned woman who set out to destroy Busch’s career after he ended their relationship.
Patricia Driscoll said she and Kurt Busch argued in the bedroom of the motorhome before he grabbed her by the face and neck and slammed her head against a wall three times.
She filed charges in November, saying she feared the incident might affect an ongoing child custody battle with her ex-husband.
Patricia Driscoll also filed for a no-contact order in November, which was the subject of four days of hearings in December and January.
The Family Court hearing featured testimony from Kurt Busch and others who said Patricia Driscoll told stories of being a covert operative for the federal government and a trained assassin.
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Kyle Busch broke his right leg and left foot after hitting an inside wall during the Xfinity Series race on Saturday, February 21.
The driver will miss the Daytona 500 on February 22 and is out indefinitely.
Kurt Busch’s brother sustained a right lower leg compound fracture and left mid-foot fracture in the crash with eight laps remaining. Joe Gibbs Racing said he was undergoing surgery on his right leg.
On February 21, NASCAR’s final appeals officer upheld Kurt Busch’s indefinite suspension for an alleged domestic assault on ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll last fall.
It means the Daytona 500 will not have one of the Busch brothers in the field for the first time since 2000.
Matt Crafton, a two-time Truck Series champion, will replace Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota on February 22 in the season-opening Sprint Cup Series race. It will be Matt Crafton’s Daytona 500 debut.
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Kurt Busch has been indefinitely suspended by NASCAR after a court ruling that he had probably physically abused his former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.
The move means Kurt Busch will miss NASCAR’s premier event – the Daytona 500 – on February 22.
A judge in Delaware earlier ruled that it was more likely than not that Kurt Busch abused Patricia Driscoll by “manually strangling her” and smashing her head into a wall last year.
Kurt Busch, 36, was the 2004 Sprint Cup winner.
“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.
“He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice,” it said, adding that the driver was aware of the decision.
Patricia Driscoll alleges Kurt Busch grabbed her by the neck in a motor home at Dover International Speedway in Delaware in September and repeatedly hit her head against a wall.
Kurt Busch – who competes for the Stewart-Haas Racing team – has denied the alleged physical assault.
He is the first driver to be suspended by NASCAR for alleged domestic violence.
Kurt Busch’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said: “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.”
In 2012, Kurt Busch was temporarily suspended for violating NASCAR’s policy forbidding swearing in public.
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