Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kurt Busch Denied In Final Appeal

Kurt Busch was denied last night in a final appeal of his indefinite suspension from NASCAR.
The Stewart Haas Racing had appealed his suspension from all NASCAR activities to NASCAR’s final appeals officer, Bryan Moss, but failed to earn reinstatement.  
Earlier, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel also denied Busch’s request for reinstatement, one day after a Delaware Family Court Commissioner ruled that Busch had committed an act of domestic violence former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll and granted her an Order of Protection.

Last night’s hearing was Busch’s final chance to earn reinstatement in time for this afternoon’s Daytona 500.


  1. Anonymous9:15 AM

    NASCAR wants to avoid negative PR. However, the burden of proof for the protective order is a preponderance of the evidence, which means one side's argument is more believable than the other's. The Court will always error on the side of caution in situations like this.

    Charges have not been filed in the case and we don’t know what actions the District Attorney in Delaware will take in the future. NASCAR has set the precedent for the future with similar circumstances where criminal charges have not been filed. With this precedent, anyone could fabricate accusations and get a driver ejected from a race.

    We now live in a NASCAR world where your guilt or innocence doesn’t matter. It is about the court of public opinion. That’s a scary world to live in.

  2. Dwayne in Memphis10:00 AM

    He's not been put in jail. "Innocent until proven guilty" doesn't apply to business any more than "freedom of speech". Unfortunately, Kurt has a long history of making NASCAR look bad. When a judge finds enough cause to grant a restraining order that's enough proof for NASCAR to revoke the privilege to race in its series. Driving in racing's highest levels is not right protected by the US Constitution.

    So yeah, I think NASCAR chases "pie in the sky" fans it will never reach. I think NASCAR wants money more than it wants to keep its long-time fan base (keep it period, not just keep it happy). But when it comes to this Kurt Busch incident, this is no different than someone in a corporate boardroom standing in front of the investors and leading off with a blatant racist joke - or even a questionable racist comment that makes some of the investors uncomfortable. It reflects badly on the person, and it reflects badly on the company. The racist joke isn't free speech, and the company firing the guy has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.

    Kurt Busch's suspension has nothing to do with guilt or innocence or anything OTHER than NASCAR looking bad. It's absolutely, 100% founded in negative PR reasons. And that's all they reason they need. They're not putting him jail or violating any right, so it's not guilty until proven innocent. It's 100% about deserving the privilege to drive in NASCAR. And when you have a high profile protection order case that a judge finds it more likely than not that you beat her up, you're not entitled to that privilege.

    NASCAR doesn't deal in guilt or innocence. It never has, and never will have to.

  3. Michael in SoCal10:37 AM

    I seem to remember seeing Travis Kvapil race on Friday night. Is his domestic violence case resolved?

  4. Dwayne in Memphis11:26 AM

    In January, 2014, Travis entered a guilty plea and placed on two year probation (after which charges will be dropped).

  5. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Dwayne in Memphis:

    Your point about making an off color remark isn’t valid in this situation. In a board room there would be witnesses. Note there is a plural there. In Kurt Bush’s situation it is a he said/she said situation. The person that observed the reporting party right after she calms the situation took place has stated that he did not observe any physical marks on the reporting party. The guy lost his ride and his ability to earn income due to a Court handing down a protection order. There haven’t been any charges filed, nor has there been a conviction. Courts will ALWAYS error on the side of caution in these situations.

    Public opinion drove NASCAR to its actions. Once again the governing body is reacting to situations and not being proactive. It is sad that an other driver who plead guilty to domestic violence in Court is allowed to continue his career but Kurt who hasn’t been charged nor convicted of anything is thrown to the wolves. That’s very strange. Either you dole out the same punishment or you don’t. Which leads to this question:

    From this point on will NASCAR have to suspend everyone who has a protection order issued against them? It would seem they have locked themselves into that path with what they have done with Kurt.

  6. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Dwayne, I agree with you, not that there is anything you, I or, Kurt Busch can do about it. We always hope that people or organizations will deal with us honestly, openly and fairly but, when they choose not to, there's not much we can do. they did not even have the guts to take questions on it.

  7. Dwayne in Memphis4:51 PM

    We'll alter the scenario for my analogy. Someone that absolutely hates you goes to HR and says the you made a pass at them, or touched them, or said something off-color or called someone a racial/ethnic slur. Your point is valid in that NASCAR knowing that there have been other instances of domestic violence in its ranks, changed nothing in terms of having an official policy. The glaring difference in that and the "regular joe" job is that there are procedures laid out well in advance in a company handbook for most jobs that cover things like this. In NASCAR, being a sanctioning body, it's not quite the same set of rules and this has set a precedent for future situations of domestic violence. Whether those charges are ultimately true or false should be something they take into consideration.

    But then again, maybe at some point in his career, maybe Kurt should have thought that his constant displaying of a lack of controlling his temper might cost him something someday. Whether he actually assaulted his ex-girlfriend, I have no way of knowing. She may very be making it up, and he may very well may have choked her and smacked her up against the wall.

    But the point remains, that NASCAR doesn't need to show absolute proof of guilt or innocence, they need to show probably cause...but with a track record of temper outbursts, he didn't help his own argument.