Suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on February 20th, Kurt Busch has had his punishment reduced to an indefinite probation on Wednesday.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “Indefinite” as meaning “not certain in amount or length”. Meanwhile, NASCAR defines the term a bit more loosely, preferring it to mean a matter of weeks.
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On Wednesday, NASCAR announced that it had reduced the indefinite suspension of driver Kurt Busch and will allow him to return to the Sprint Cup Series immediately. Busch had been suspended by the racing world’s top governing body on February 20th stemming from an altercation where his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll claimed the driver slammed her head into a bedroom wall and had choked her, per a Sports Illustrated report. However, the Delaware State Attorney Office was unable to find enough evidence with which to prosecute Busch and dropped the charges.
The dropped charges opened the door for Busch’s return to NASCAR, as Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell noted that Kurt Busch had complied with the body’s investigation and their reinstatement program.
"“As we stated last week, the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges removed a significant impediment to Kurt Busch’s return to full status as a NASCAR member.” – Steve O’Donnell"
The driver will now be under an indefinite probation where he will be required to complete a specific set of conditions that have been outlined to him, but not the media. Those conditions are expected to include an ongoing treatment program and avoiding further off-track problems.
Interestingly enough, NASCAR also opted to waive the requirement that all drivers must compete in the entire series in order to qualify for the Chase for the Spring Cup. This means that Busch will not be penalized for the time missed and could still qualify for the postseason Chase races. However, he faces an uphill battle in that regard, having missed the first three races of the NASCAR season. Kevin Harvick currently leads all drivers with 134 points, with Dale Earnhart Jr. and Joey Logano currently sitting second and third respectively.
Since making his debut during the 2000 season, Kurt Busch has appeared in 507 races, while winning 25 of them, finishing in the top five 106 times during his career. He won the then Nextel Cup Series championship in 2004 while a member of Roush Racing and was the 2000 Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year in 2000. He’s also no stranger to controversy within the circuit, as Busch has had quite a few run-ins over the years.
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