NASCAR & Auto Racing

NASCAR’s Kurt Busch loses final appeal of suspension

On Wednesday, Kurt Busch was in his garage during a practice session for the Daytona 500.
On Wednesday, Kurt Busch was in his garage during a practice session for the Daytona 500. The Associated Press

Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch has run out of appeals.

Busch’s second — and final — appeal in an attempt to overturn his indefinite suspension by NASCAR was denied Saturday night, leaving him without any immediate options to return to racing.

After NASCAR’s decision to suspend Busch was upheld in a two-hour hearing in front of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel on Saturday afternoon, he appealed to Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss on Saturday night.

But Moss also agreed with NASCAR’s ruling that Busch’s alleged involvement in a domestic violence incident with former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll fell under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” policy.

The decision of the Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties, NASCAR said in a statement.

Busch, said NASCAR, has exhausted his appeal options under its rulebook, and the indefinite suspension remains in effect. He will not be allowed to race or participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.

Busch’s attorney Rusty Hardin, who was not allowed to participate in the hearing released a statement:

“We are unhappy with the latest decision to deny our re-appeal, but we will continue to exhaust every procedural and legal remedy we have available to us until Kurt Busch is vindicated. Along the way we intend to continue to call attention to the facts and witnesses that will shed light on Ms. Driscoll’s true character, motivations and history.”

In the first appeal, Busch appeared in front of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel in a closed-door room at NASCAR headquarters. NASCAR had suspended him Friday after a family court in Delaware determined it was likely that Busch committed an act of domestic violence against Driscoll, a case that has not been adjudicated.

The suspension was upheld by a panel consisting of former NASCAR senior vice-president Paul Brooks, former driver Lyn St. James and Kevin Whitaker, operator at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

Stewart-Haas Racing was not involved in Busch’s appeal because the discipline was issued specifically to Busch for a non-racing violation of NASCAR rules.

Busch, 36, could still face criminal charges stemming from an Dover police investigation into the incident.

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @randycovitz.

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