Friday, March 06, 2015

NASCAR's Higdon Says Sanctioning Body "Had To Act" By Suspending Busch

NASCAR's David Higdon
NASCAR vice president of Integrated Marketing Communications David Higdon told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” today that NASCAR had no choice but to suspend driver Kurt Busch in the aftermath of a Delaware Family Court’s decision to grant a no-contact order to former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.

Higdon said NASCAR’s decision to suspend Busch during Speedweeks 2015 at Daytona was “based on what we heard from the Commissioner in the Family Court of the state of Delaware.”

Asked about the timing of the decision – just days before the season-opening Daytona 500 -- Higdon said, “We were called to task for waiting like we did. We utilized the patience that was necessary to gather the appropriate information. Then, unfortunately, the timing hit us during the Daytona 500 where Kurt received a court order from the Family Court of the state of Delaware. That was a 25-page document that we simply couldn’t ignore. It was a very clear case made by that court.

“When you have a legitimate court in Delaware make a statement like they did, it would have been ridiculous for us to not act. We had been very patient over three months. We were dragged through lot of mud during that period, but we also felt that it was only fair to the driver that the facts come through.

“When they ultimately did come… we had to act. We had to make a decision (and) it was unanimous among those involved in that decision.

Yesterday, the Delaware Department of Justice announced that it would not file criminal domestic assault charges against Busch, citing insufficient evidence to prosecute.

“We knew there was a chance that the Attorney General could go one way or the other,” said Higdon, “(and) the Department of Justice was very clear in their statement. They determined that admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be inefficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime. They were very clear on that, just as the Commissioner in the Family Court was very clear that they were satisfied with the evidence that was presented at the trial that there was a case here.’’

Higdon commented on the 2013 domestic violence case involving former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, where Kvapil was not sanctioned by NASCAR despite being charged and receiving two years’ probation and community service as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.

“We learned a lot,” admitted Higdon. “If we had to do that over again, we probably would have done it differently. There’s no doubt that our knowledge and experience… with domestic violence and what we’ve seen in the world at large has had an impact.

“We said moving forward that the standard was going to be higher. We watched the NFL. We began talking to experts in that area when the NFL was going through (its situations with Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and others). We proactively made sure that we understood the issue. We learned about it long before we actually had the situation with Kurt Busch.

“We had already begun down the path to (deciding that) if we had a situation related to domestic violence, we would definitely react differently than with Travis Kvapil.’’

Higdon repeated the sanctioning body’s earlier statement that the decision by Delaware’s Department of Justice not charge Busch “certainly is something that is removing a significant impediment to his reinstatement.’’

He did not provide a timeline for Busch’s return, or comment on conditions the sanctioning body has placed on his reinstatement. 


  1. There are 12 NFL players on the active roster with domestic abuse charges/convictions. Brian France himself has been accused of verbal abuse and non-compliance of divorce(s) orders. Pot meet kettle.

  2. Anonymous1:50 PM

    This happened to Kurt Busch, who is not one of the more popular drivers on the circuit. Because of this, people have acted as if he "deserved" a suspension. If he were found guilty, then I agree 100% to react with a suspension. But, to suspend him based on the accusation is ludicrous. What would NASCAR's reaction be if it were Dale, Jr., or Jimmy Johnson? My suspicion is that thereaction would be totally different. Everyone says KB has a history of being a hothead. Yes, he has cussed people like a dog. My experience tells me that those types of people are rarely violent. They use the rants as a defense mechanism to avoid physical confrontations. it's the quiet ones that you have to worry about. I really hope NASCAR wakes up & lets him back on the track... just because it's the right thing to do. Otherwise, another rejected bimbo is going to try to extort athletes. After all. you don't have to commit the crime... just be accused of it.

  3. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Hopefully Mr. Higdon was wearing a chicken suit during his speech. At least something about him would have been credible.

  4. Anonymous2:48 PM

    That's bull!!! In this country innocent until proven guilty based on accusation which proved to be false or charges would have been filed. Since no charges Nascar MUST reinstate Busch and why haven't they!!! Fact France hates anyone that stands up to him and will do anything to ruin their character Look at Mayfield!! I think France need s to be investigated and replaced and let someone else run the sport before it gets anyworse which would be hard to be

  5. Anonymous3:10 PM

    hmmmm. innocent until proven guilty? NASCAR is a great company that is obviously under immense pressure to do "the right thing" i am certainly not taking sides here- BUT our court system has spoken- no charges will be filed, I believe the USA has the best system in the world and it has spoken, so NASCAR and CHEVY listen we are your customers and we believe in the USA system of justice- you are not guilty of something unless you are charged, and convicted- - at what point does NASCAR suspend members or CHEVY drop contacts for not eating their veggies? I really do not have a horse in the race whether this driver is racing again or not- however I do care when constitutional rights are seemly violated on any US citizen

    1. Anonymous4:56 PM

      Driving a NASCAR race car is not a right guaranteed under the constitution. NASCAR is a privately held organization that makes it own rules about who can and can not participate. All this innocent until proven guilty is fine when it comes to the legal system, but the family courts clearly said he wasn't innocent. The court system has spoken. Mr .Busch is under a court issued a "no contact" order, he is required to undergo court ordered anger management. He IS UNDER A COURT ORDER. This isn't just he said, she said, this is a judge that reviewed the available facts, and determined that there was a preponderance of evidence to support the accusations. I for one support NASCAR's decision to suspend him, and not reinstate him until he completes the program he agreed to complete. Based on the findings of the Family Court judge, his actions were clearly detrimental to stock car racing, and NASCAR has EVERY RIGHT to suspend him for those actions.

    2. Anonymous2:25 AM

      I agree, driving a NASCAR race car is not a constitutional right and NASCAR is a privately owned organization. However, they do not get to pick and choose who may drive a car. They can set certain criteria that potential drivers must meet to qualify. In the case of Busch, a "no contact" order was granted against him but he was not ordered by a court to under go anger management. NASCAR has serious credibility issues when they suspend Kurt Busch over a "no contact" order when they did nothing to Travis Kvapil who plead guilty to domestic violence. Trotting out Mr. Higdon to say in effect "oops, we goofed", doesn't get it done.

    3. Anonymous12:03 PM

      UNDER A COURT ORDER, Under a DELAWARE Civil Family Court, order applies to Delaware only, Not a Judge but a Commissioner found hearsay evidence to be credible, this would not stand in a Legal Criminal Court, note the Attorney Generals decision to not file charges, get your facts right...................................

  6. Anonymous3:37 PM

    NASCAR stepped in it and now don't know how to get out of it. This just shows you that they are run by a bunch of idiots......
    CHEVY; No more sales from me or my company............
    NASCAR: No more season tickets..............
    Every time someone from NASCAR opens their mouth about something you wonder where they were educated at if at all.

    1. Anonymous4:32 PM

      I agree 100 % with the above comment. I will never buy another Chevrolet when I have bought them all my life as well as my family has. NASCAR - this is why you are loosing your fans. I am not a KB fan but you didn't do him any justice!

    2. Anonymous5:02 PM

      Very well spoken. Like I have stated before, this is just one case that the people who run Nascar is wrong. Then they want to know why fans are leaving their sport in droves!

    3. Anonymous5:05 PM

      Nascar was wrong in the Kurt Bush deal and they should let him race as soon as possible. Nascar makes so many mistakes and they wonder why people are leaving the sport in droves!

    4. Just how many Chevrolet's and season tickets have you purchased? The legal matter or court decision had nothing to do with Kurts suspension.this was an employee,employer relationship and Kurt needs NASCAR a lot more than NASCAR needs Kurt.

    5. Anonymous1:06 PM

      Nascar was 100% wrong along with Chevrolet. Nascar makes me puke these days. I hope they go broke along with Chevy. This use to be America and your shouldnt be punished before found guilty.

    6. Anonymous8:32 PM

      Good job, guys - punish your local Chevy dealer because you hate how NASCAR (a thousand miles away - or whatever) handled a situation that had nothing to do with Chevrolet or your local dealership. Apparently it's ok to suck the Government handout funds (according to which report you trust, to the tune of $5 to $10 BILLION final cost to taxpayers), and people will continue to buy Chevrolets all day, every day. Kurt Busch does or doesn't do something stupid and NASCAR reacts and NOW is the time to stop buying the bowties? Really? You plan on making a $20 to $30,000 investment and the only thing that matters is how NASCAR handles Kurt Busch's situation? Go ahead and screw America out of $10 Billion of tax payer money, Chevrolet, we're all cool with that - but you better tell NASCAR not to suspend Kurt Busch or we'll not buy another one.

    7. Anonymous1:19 PM

      STION: Chevrolet & NASCAR dropped Busch over the hearsay evidence the Family Court used to render it's phoney decision.Grew up in a Chevy Dealership since the 1950's, have purchased a lot more than you could afford, bought season tickets every since Texas opened up, have not bought GM products since they became Government Motors and screwed all the vendors, pensioners, bond holders, tax payers & me.

    8. You have no idea what I can or cannot afford and as long as you post as Anonymous you are wasting your time.Nothing but hot air.

    9. Anonymous2:45 PM

      So you (and I'll quote) "have not bought GM products since they became Government Motors and screwed all the vendors, pensioners, bond holders, tax payers & me" so why NOW are you trying to make it sound like it's NASCAR's and Chevy's dealings with Kurt Busch that are dictating your decision. Texas is owned my Speedway Motorsports - Bruton Smith - not NASCAR. So punishing NASCAR by not patronizing Speedway Motorsports makes as much sense as penalizing your local Chevy dealer over Kurt Busch...oh wait, it wasn't really Kurt Busch.

      These arguments are tiresome. Nobody liked Kurt Busch until it was a woman - then this turned somehow into He-Man Woman Haters Club from the old Little Rascals shorts. Kurt Busch became a martyr and placed on a pedestal. He made his decisions, they have their consequences, and they don't affect me at all since I don't drive in NASCAR-sanctioned events, and my actions don't reflect on them or their sponsors. Moving along with my life. Peace out.

  7. So let me get this straight: So since you didn't react more forcefully in the Kvapil case in which he PLEADED GUILTY to the domestic abuse charges, you give Busch no benefit of the doubt in a case that eventually gets thrown out due to lack of evidence (or was it a lack of truthfulness on the part of Ms. Driscoll and her attorney). Perfectly logical to me!

    1. Neither Chevrolet or NASCAR could afford to give a suspect in a domestic violence case associated with their product "benefit of doubt".

      Corporations do have a say in who represents their products and who they associate with.

      This isn't rocket science.

  8. No matter what people think is or might be "right", the bottom line is that it isn't "good".
    America gets lost trying to defend indefensible crap.

    Did you hear... the world goes on and they're racing in Vegas this weekend?

  9. Anonymous6:21 PM

    The statement that they (NASCAR) HAD to do something.....were the drivers or fans in some sort of danger, or what?? Great statement, they HAD to suspend KB, but he does not explain why.

  10. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Its a shame any lying woman can ruin a man's career by just making a charge. The Family Court Commissioner said it was "more likely than not" that Busch commited an act of abuse. Why didn't he definitely say he did or not? Nascar then suspended Busch indefinitely I think Nascar and the NFL both act to fast before they have all the facts.

    1. Anonymous1:45 PM

      The way the NFL acted too fast, then found out that in reality Ray Rice had just knocked her @$$ clean out (caught on video) in that elevator and it was much, MUCH worse than they originally thought it was? I'll be glad when this dies down!! This isn't free speech, and this isn't innocent until proven guilty. This is "we pay you to represent our brand and our company, and if you look bad, we look bad." People can accept that, or they can choose to not accept that, but that's the bottom line fact on this matter.

  11. Anonymous11:43 PM

    My first thought was "Horsehockey". My second thought was NASCAR is worried about covering their own 'family values' backside. Thirdly, horsehockey still applies.

  12. Anonymous6:29 PM

    if he is not charged with anything. he should be reinstated