Kurt Busch to follow guidelines toward NASCAR reinstatement
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Kurt Busch has agreed to follow NASCAR's recommended guidelines to be eligible for eventual reinstatement.
The 2004 champion was indefinitely suspended Feb. 20 after a Delaware judge said he believed Busch likely committed an act of domestic violence against a former girlfriend and there was a ''substantial likelihood'' of him doing it again.
Busch lost two rounds of appeals for reinstatement before the season-opening Daytona 500 and has missed the first two races of the season. Regan Smith has replaced him in the No. 41 Chevrolet.
On Monday, NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Busch has ''agreed to our terms and conditions that must be met before he is eligible for consideration for reinstatement of his NASCAR license.''
Stewart-Haas Racing, which on Monday said Smith would again drive the No. 41 this weekend at Las Vegas, said there is no timetable for Busch to meet NASCAR's guidelines.
''Kurt's willingness to embrace the conditions set forth by NASCAR is a positive step that we support,'' SHR said in a statement.
The specific guidelines have not been disclosed, but Higdon said an unidentified NASCAR consultant helped create them. Higdon added that Busch would need to meet the requirements ''to the satisfaction of both NASCAR and the expert.
''The expert administering the reinstatement can come back with a recommendation of return, but Kurt still must satisfy NASCAR's expectations, as well,'' he said.
NASCAR tailors its reinstatement programs to each individual and the offense. AJ Allmendinger, for example, had to complete a program overseen by Dr. David Black, who runs NASCAR's drug-testing unit. Alllmendinger was suspended for failing a random drug test and eventually reinstated.
Jeremy Clements, who was suspended in 2013 for an inappropriate comment, was reinstated after completing a NASCAR-authorized sensitivity training program. The program was administered by sports sociologist Richard Lapchick and his staff at the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.
Higdon said a domestic violence expert will oversee Busch's program, and NASCAR will not be part of the process.
Unrelated to the guidelines for NASCAR reinstatement are conditions placed on Busch by Family Court Commissioner David Jones, who granted a no-contact order for ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. Jones wrote in his opinion that he believe believes there's real possibility Busch will lash out again and has a propensity to lose control in response to disappointing or frustrating situations involving racing.
Jones ordered Busch to be evaluated to see if there is a ''treatable mental health condition.'' He also said Busch must follow any suggested treatment plans.
Busch is appealing Jones' ruling.