On Thursday, an announcement came down from the Delaware Attorney General’s office that criminal charges would not be filed against NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch relating to allegations of domestic violence made by Busch’s ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. The office issued a statement from spokesman Carl Kanefsky via e-mail.
“After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the September 26th incident,” the statement read. “Likelihood of meeting that high burden of proof is the standard for prosecutors in bringing a case. For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case.”
On Feb. 16, 2015, a Delaware Family Court awarded Driscoll a no-contact order based on her allegations and a four-day civil hearing. On Feb. 20, the commissioner who granted that order released a statement. Following that statement, NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch. Chevrolet also suspended its relationship with Busch the same day.
Earlier this week, NASCAR confirmed that Busch has agreed to undergo a NASCAR-mandated “Road to Recovery” program to make himself eligible for possible reinstatement.
Where does NASCAR go from here, though, now that we know criminal charges won’t be filed?
Here are my two cents, for what they’re worth:
I think Busch should be reinstated immediately by NASCAR. Of course, NASCAR reinstatement wouldn’t automatically put Busch back in the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. I’ve gotten the impression that Busch has the support of Stewart-Haas Racing, but what about Chevrolet? If Chevy still has reservations, it would be hard for SHR to put Busch in the car since it is a Chevrolet that receives support from Chevrolet. I think Chevrolet should reinstate its ties with Busch, too.
Here’s how I arrived at my opinion:
I acknowledge that the Delaware Attorney General’s office didn’t say Busch didn’t do anything, just that there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute. If there’s not enough evidence to prosecute, is there enough evidence to say he did anything wrong?
Those in support of continued suspension cite the Delaware Family Court and claim that the statement made by that court’s commissioner said that there was evidence to support issuing the order. If I’m not mistaken, that statement read that testimony and evidence presented supported the opinion that Busch may have done something. Is the OPINION that someone MAY have done something enough to assume guilt? I don’t think so.
Others have quoted NASCAR’s “Actions detrimental to stock car racing” entry in its rule book. It’s a rules violation that NASCAR always tacks on to its penalty announcement. Many of those in support of Busch’s immediate reinstatement say that Busch was guilty of NASCAR’s “go-to.”
Really? If he didn’t do anything wrong, exactly what action was “detrimental to stock car racing?” Yes, this whole situation was a black eye on the sport, but if Busch didn’t do anything wrong, is it his fault that this situation-turned-media-circus even happened?
As I’ve said before, I don’t claim to know whether or not Busch did anything wrong. I don’t know. I’m thinking Busch, Driscoll and maybe Driscoll’s son are the only ones who really know what happened, for sure, in that motorhome.
As far as the “Road to Recovery” program NASCAAR mandated, I say put Busch through that prescribed program, but let him race while doing so.
What do you think? Take a poll, here.
*** EDITOR’S NOTE: NASCAR has since released a statement saying that Busch will continue the prescribed “Road to Recovery,” after which the possibility of reinstatement would be determined.