Kurt Busch is back in the game.
NASCAR announced today that Busch’s indefinite suspension has been lifted, effective immediately, making him eligible to return to NASCAR competition this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Busch remains under indefinite probation, subject to additional mandatory requirements that include but are not limited to participation in a treatment program and full compliance with any judicial requirements placed upon him.
NASCAR said the decision to lift the suspension was made after Kurt Busch complied with all requirements of its reinstatement program, completed mandatory behavioral assessment sessions and was approved for reinstatement by the behavioral health care expert who conducted those sessions. He will undergo additional steps to address the behavior for which he was penalized.
The sanctioning body also announced that it will waive the requirement that Busch compete in all Championship Events of the current season in order to be eligible for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Stewart Haas Racing driver will return to competition with no championship points, after missing the opening three races f the 2015 season at Daytona, Atlanta and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“As we stated last week, the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges removed a significant impediment to Kurt Busch’s return to full status as a NASCAR member,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. “We therefore have decided to move him to indefinite probation and waive the Chase requirement. He has fully complied with our reinstatement program during his suspension and the health care expert who conducted his evaluation recommended his immediate return.
“We have made it very clear to Kurt Busch our expectations for him moving forward, which includes participation in a treatment program and full compliance with all judicial requirements as a result of his off-track behavior.”
Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer on the reinstatement, saying, “We appreciate the steps Kurt Busch has made while following NASCAR’s process for reinstatement. He has taken this path seriously, which allowed him to return to our race team. With his reinstatement and the conclusion by the Delaware Attorney General to not file charges, our focus is on the future.”
Custer did not specifically address whether Busch will compete this weekend in Phoenix, but sources close to SHR expect him to do so.
Chevrolet vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell said the automaker has also reinstated Busch.
“Now that Kurt Busch has been reinstated by NASCAR and is able to fulfill his obligations associated with our agreement, we have lifted our suspension and will continue to monitor the situation,” said Campbell.
Busch is expected to address the media later today.