7 November 2014
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Kurt Busch in domestic assault probe
Kurt Busch is under investigation by police in Delaware after an allegation of domestic abuse was reportedly made against the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.
Police in Dover, Delaware have confirmed that they are investigating an allegation of domestic abuse that has been made involving NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch.
"The Dover Police Department can confirm that an investigation is being conducted based on an allegation of domestic assault that is alleged to have occurred in the City of Dover involving Mr Busch," the police said in a statement issued on Friday.
"These allegations were brought to the Dover Police Department on Wednesday, November 5th at 2pm," the statement continued. "At this time, the department is still investigating the victim's claims and will not have any further comment on this matter in order to preserve the integrity of the case.
"The Dover Police Department will release further information as it becomes available. We appreciate the public's and media's patience in this matter and are confident that the department is taking the proper investigative steps to ensure the case is resolved appropriately."
According to The Associated Press, the allegations concern an incident that took place inside Busch's motorhome during a race weekend. No one has been charged at this time and the driver himself has made no public comment, but his attorney Rusty Hardin was quick to refute the allegations.
"The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light," said Hardin.
"This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect," he added. "At this time we intend to have no further comment in the media out of respect for the Dover Police Department's desire to conduct a thorough investigation without a media circus."
Busch's NASCAR Sprint Cup team also issued a brief statement. "This is an allegation Stewart-Haas Racing takes very seriously, but we're still gathering all of the facts and are not in a position to comment in greater detail," said team spokesman Mike Arning.
"NASCAR is aware of the investigation involving driver Kurt Busch," said NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes in a statement issued to the media by the sanctioning body.
"We recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and Stewart-Haas Racing," added Jewkes. "It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment further on this matter until we have more information."
The identity of the victim who made the allegation has not been formally disclosed. Since the end of his first marriage, Busch had been in a long-term relationship with Patricia Driscoll, president of the Armed Forces Foundation and the CEO of a private security and surveillance company in Washington, DC, but the couple are understood to have broken up in September.
The AFF said in a statement on Friday that: "Given the serious nature of the allegations, the Foundation has suspended its association with Mr Busch.
"I want to, first and foremost, express the direct support from the Board of Directors of the Armed Forces Foundation to Ms Driscoll," added Pat LaFrieda, AFF Chairman of the Board. "For more than a decade, Ms Driscoll has been a tireless worker and advocate for our nation's service members, veterans, and military families. The Foundation will continue working to support service members, veterans, and military families and we ask that Ms Driscoll's privacy be respected."
Busch has had a turbulent time in the sport in the past. He was suspended by Roush Racing for the final two races of the 2005 season for being belligerent with police following a traffic stop in Phoenix, and Busch was subsequently charged with reckless driving and sentenced to 50 hours of community service. Busch later drove for Penske Racing, until some high-profile rows between Busch and the team together with a confrontation with a pit lane reporter at the end of the 2011 season led to Busch departing the team.
Busch, who won the Cup championship in 2004, joined SHR at the start of 2014 and qualified for this year's Chase, although he was one of the four drivers to drop out of contention after the autumn race at Dover International Speedway at the end of September.
The co-owner of SHR, Tony Stewart, was himself recently at the centre of a police investigation in New York state over his involvement in a fatal on-track accident in a regional dirt track event that took place in August. The grand jury that assessed the evidence gathered by the police and district attorney's office decided that Stewart should face no criminal charges relating to the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr.
Busch himself also took part in this year's Indianapolis 500 and finished in sixth place to claim rookie of the year honours in the event, after becoming only the fourth driver in motor sport history to attempt 'The Double', which involves starting in both the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day.
Busch was recently confirmed as being part of the line-up at this year's Race of Champions that will take place at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14. The 36-year-old has also said that he will compete in next month's 25 Hours of Thunderhill enduro in Northern California with Road Shagger Racing, the week before the ROC.
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