Strange Case

Kurt Busch's domestic violence dispute has turned weird
January 26, 2015

THE BACKGROUND

On Nov. 5, Kurt Busch was accused of domestic assault by his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll. She alleges that five weeks earlier the 2004 Sprint Cup champ smashed her head against a wall of his motor coach during a NASCAR event at Dover International Speedway. While authorities considered whether to file criminal charges (Dover police forwarded their findings to the Delaware attorney general's office late last month), Driscoll pursued a protection from abuse (PFA) order against Busch, who disputes her version of events.

THE HEARING

It's been odd. Busch claimed Driscoll is a "trained assassin" who flaunts cellphone pictures of her kills and darts across the Mexican border to execute missions. Driscoll—who runs a defense contracting company in Washington D.C., and is the president of a military-focused charity that partners with NASCAR—called the claims ludicrous and cast Busch as a drunk and a depressive who has hurt her before. Eventually, Dover detective James Wood testified that Busch told him Driscoll's head had made contact with the bedroom wall—a fact Busch had not mentioned in his testimony.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Attorneys for each side will submit written closing arguments, which arbiter David Jones will consider along with the transcript and a lengthy evidence list that includes pages of text messages and pictures of Driscoll's alleged injuries. A verdict isn't likely until early February, or just before the NASCAR season kicks off with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, and is expected to include a written opinion, a rare coda for this type of case. Regardless of the decision, Busch could find himself back in court—as the defendant in a criminal case—and possibly out of a NASCAR ride indefinitely.

THEY SAID IT

"I just don't like you."

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Russell Westbrook

Thunder guard's response when asked by The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel if he was upset about something during a testy session with the media.

Change Is Gonna Come

The College Football Playoff was a smashing success. How do other oft-discussed potential rule changes in sports look now?

[The following text appears within a diagram. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual diagram.]

GOOD IDEA

BAD IDEA

UNLIKELY

LIKELY

SOCCER

Alter offsides

NCAA

Pay players

NFL

Guaranteed OT possession for each team

SOCCER

Allow temporary subs for injuries

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Eight-team playoff

NBA

Raise the rim to 12 feet

BASEBALL

Use a pitch clock to shorten MLB games

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Move three-point line to international distance

NFL

Expand regular season to 18 games

PHOTOJOHN MINCHILLO/AP (WESTBROOK) PHOTOBRAD SCHLOSS/ICON SMI (BUSCH AND DRISCOLL) DIAGRAM

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)