Driver Kurt Busch was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR on Friday after a Delaware court ruled "it is more likely than not" that he committed an act of abuse against his ex-girlfriend in September 2014.
He had been scheduled to participate in the Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Busch's lawyer reportedly said the suspension would be appealed.
In addition, Chevy announced that it has suspended its relationship with Busch indefinitely.
The Family Court of the State of Delaware found that there is a "substantial likelihood" he could commit domestic violence in the future, it said in its ruling. Kent County commissioner David Jones wrote that an act of abuse was committed when Busch "manually strangled" Patricia Driscoll with his "left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand against her chin and face, causing her head to forcefully strike the interior wall" of his motor home.
The court issued a year-long protective order against Busch on Monday. (On Thursday, Busch's attorneys filed a motion to request the reopening of the hearing that resulted in the order.) Driscoll also filed a criminal complaint with Dover police. Busch has not been charged criminally.
Under the conditions of the order, Busch must remain away from ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, except "at NASCAR races and related events where closer proximity is required." Busch also "will be required to be so evaluated by a licensed mental health professional and to comply with any recommendations of the evaluator for counseling or treatment."
The court order followed four days of hearings in December and January in which Driscoll accused Busch of slamming her head into a bedroom wall in September. Busch testified that Driscoll is a trained assassin, an allegation she denied.
- Chris Johnson, Molly Geary and Mike Fiammetta