Kurt Busch was suspended indefinitely on Friday, according to multiple reports, after a Delaware family court judge concluded that the NASCAR driver committed an act of domestic violence against his former girlfriend.
Kent County commissioner David W. Jones said in his findings that he believes Busch abused Patricia Driscoll last September by “manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand on her chin and face and smashing her head into the wall of his motor home, thereby recklessly placing (Driscoll) in reasonable fear of physical injury.”
On Monday, Driscoll received a protective order against Busch, who appealed that ruling.
The court argued that the protective order was necessary because it would reduce the possibility of domestic violence, even though Busch and Driscoll are no longer in a relationship.
Jones’ decision calls for Busch “to be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional” and pursue any treatment deemed necessary, but he was not ordered to enter into a “batterer’s intervention program” because Jones believes Busch is not a “power and control batterer.”
According to the protective order, Busch must stay 100 yards from Driscoll, except at NASCAR tracks. He is not allowed to contact her and also must undergo an evaluation for anger management problems. The order stemmed from an incident Sept. 26 in Busch’s motorhome at Dover International Speedway.
During testimony in January, Driscoll claimed that Busch grabbed her by the neck and smashed her head against a wall three times. Busch denied that accusation, saying he tapped the wall as he told his uninvited guest to leave.
Busch also testified that he believes Driscoll was a trained assassin, and his lawyers portrayed her as a jilted lover bent on ruining him. Driscoll, the CEO of a defense contracting firm, denied the accusations, claiming Busch took them from a screenplay, while he told the court that he was afraid of Driscoll.
“The assertion that he would be chastened from assaulting her for fear of the possibility of physical injury is further discredited, in the court’s view, by the fact that he makes his living risking his life on an almost daily basis by aggressively driving a race car at speeds often approaching 200 miles per hour in close contact with others driving in the same manner at the same speed,” Jones wrote.
Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion, is in Daytona Beach, Fla., and had been preparing to drive in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
No decision has been made on whether Busch will face charges. The Delaware attorney general’s office is still investigating the case and said there is no timetable for resolution.