|Busch and Driscoll in happier times.|
Nearly seven hours of court testimony Tuesday painted a dramatic picture of the tempestuous relationship between NASCAR driver Kurt Busch and his former girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll.
The pair appeared in Kent County (Del.) Family Court Tuesday, with Driscoll describing the former Sprint Cup Series champion as an unstable, violent alcoholic who was in danger of "drinking himself to death." Busch did not testify Tuesday, but his attorney painted an unflattering portrait of Driscoll, calling her untrustworthy, unwilling to accept the end of their four-year relationship and bent on destroying Busch’s racing career.
Driscoll is seeking a no-contact order against Busch, requesting that he be ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and domestic violence counseling. In testimony Tuesday, she alleged that Busch choked her and smashed her head against the wall of his motorhome at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 26, after she and her nine-year old son drove there from their Maryland home to check on his well-being.
|Photo: Jason Minto/|
Wilmington News Journal
Driscoll said Busch told her via text message that he was crying on the floor of his motorhome and felt “the world was crashing down" on him. "I was really worried," said Driscoll. "...Kurt's not the kind of person to be laying on the floor crying."
After driving to the speedway, Driscoll said she joined Busch in his motorhome, where he began disparaging his Stewart Haas Racing team, calling team personnel “idiots” and complaining that teammate Kevin Harvick was "getting everything" from the team, while Busch received nothing.
"He seemed out of his mind… saying crazy things,” added Driscoll, saying Busch told her that if he had a gun, he would kill himself.
Driscoll testified that Busch “just kept going off about the team," before suddenly leaping to his feet, grabbing her by the neck and face and smashing her head against the wall of the motorhome.
"It scared me,” she said, “because he just snapped."
She said she and her son immediately sought refuge in an adjoining motorhome owned by Motor Racing Outreach, before returning home and documenting her injuries with a series of photographs. Driscoll said she declined to file a police report at the time, fearing the incident would jeopardize an ongoing child custody battle with her ex-husband.
The most emotional moment of the hearing came when Busch’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, suggested that Driscoll could have avoided the alleged incident by leaving the motorhome. A tearful Driscoll responded, "I am not to blame for him putting his hands on me," prompting Family Court judge David Jones to order a brief recess.
Driscoll also alleged that Busch became violent the previous week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, wrapping a seat belt around her neck and causing damage to a rental car.
Under cross-examination, Hardin repeatedly portrayed Driscoll as unable to accept the end of her relationship with Busch, saying she had failed to present any evidence of physical assault. He called Driscoll “a mercenary” who suggested strategies to discredit Sprint Car driver Kevin Ward, Jr., after he was struck and killed by a car driven by Tony Stewart on a New York dirt track earlier this season. He said Busch owes Driscoll money, and that she has repeatedly vowed to "take Kurt down" and destroy his racing career.
Busch declined to comment after Tuesday's hearing. It is not known whether he will testify today.