2015 Races [?] that State Water Heaters is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Contract Status: Driver: 2015+; Primary Sponsors: Haas Automation (team owner company_
Kurt Busch will not run "The Double": One thing #41-Kurt Busch doesn't want to risk in the early goings of his return, is the momentum he has built with the #41 team. Although there had been talk of Busch returning to the Brickyard in May for another run at the Indianapolis 500, Busch, who finished sixth in his debut, says his focus is strictly on NASCAR for now. "It's all about the 41 car, this group of guys and (team owner) for Gene Haas," Busch said. "He's believed in me and supported me through all of this and it wouldn't make much sense at this time to venture off into any other type of motorsport other than get this 41 car back up into the points, challenge for wins and make ourselves Chase eligible. We'll see. We'll see how it pans out. I really enjoyed it. I accomplished a lot. And it would be a shame if I didn't cash in on the experience that I have and knowing what I know now versus what I didn't know going into the event last year. If it pans out, it would be next year for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500."(Motorsport)(3-22-2015)
Family court will not reopen Kurt Busch case: Kurt Busch's request to have his protective order hearing reopened by a Kent County Family Court commissioner was denied Tuesday. The decision by Commissioner David Jones, while not in Busch's favor, now allows Busch to proceed with his planned appeal of the decision to a family court judge. Busch's legal team filed the motion to reopen the hearing Feb. 19, four days after Jones granted the protective order and one day before Jones released his findings and conclusions on why he had determined that Busch had likely committed an act of domestic violence on ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. In the motion to reopen the hearing, Busch's legal team said it had three witnesses -- including Beverly Young, whom Driscoll has referred to as her mother although they are not biologically related -- who had come forward willing to testify to place doubt on Driscoll's testimony and show that Driscoll was out to ruin Busch. Jones denied the motion Tuesday, ruling that the witnesses could have been compelled to give depositions in December or January and that their testimony would not have changed his opinion. "The newly discovered evidence, when considered in the context of the evidence presented at trial, would not establish that [Driscoll] was motivated by desire to ruin [Busch] when she first reported the allegations of abuse," Jones wrote. Driscoll issued a statement Tuesday stating she was pleased with the decision.(ESPN.com)(3-17-2015)
Haas always believed Kurt Busch: Gene Haas said Sunday he never wavered in his support of Kurt Busch in the aftermath of the controversy over whether Busch assaulted ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway in September. "I always believed Kurt," Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Haas told ESPN.com at the track Sunday morning. "I still believe him today." NASCAR suspended Busch two days prior to the Daytona 500 after a Delaware family court commissioner determined that Busch likely committed an act of domestic violence against Driscoll on Sept. 26. Haas said his primary frustration over his driver's NASCAR suspension was the timing of the legal decisions. "When he got pulled out at Daytona, that was pretty devastating. ... That was very upsetting," Haas said. "NASCAR was very up-front with us. They told us everything that was happening. I think they had to react. The upsetting part is that we just had no control over those things. We had no control over NASCAR, over the media, over the court systems. We were just adrift in a boat going down a rapid river, and we just had no idea what was going to happen."
Haas said he never got to the point of having to decide whether to shut down the #41 car that he sponsors through his company Haas Automation Inc. Regan Smith drove the car for the first three races of 2015. "I was always optimistic that things would work out, so I don't think I ever got to that point," Haas said. "Six months down the road, I probably would have had a different opinion. ... Things have kind of worked a little bit in our favor [now] even though they didn't work in our favor [initially]."
While suspended, Busch and Haas remained in contact. "We talked every few days just to see what was happening," Haas said. "We were all kind of waiting for something to occur so you can react to it. Kurt was always adamant that he was going to be cleared. He never varied on that. I believed him. He never said anything different from the first day all this occurred."(ESPN.com)(3-16-2015)
Kurt Busch talks domestic violence with Fox: Kurt Busch, returing to the seat of the #41 Chevy Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway for the first time since his indefinite suspension by NASCAR, sat down with FOX NASCAR Sunday host Chris Myers Sunday to share his thoughts on his suspension, whether he has anger-management issues and other topics. Below is a transcript of the interview that aired on FOX:
Myers: There are still people out there who might say, 'Well, he must have done something.'
Busch: "Well, my reply to that would be yes, domestic violence is a serious issue. The next step is the worst problem with that is when you're falsely accused of it. It hurts the real victims. That's what I have to say to that."
Myers: There's a real difference between a personal disagreement versus domestic violence, in your eyes?
Busch: "In somebody who has had moments of anger issues, that is one thing when you're frustrated about a bad finish. But going to a step to actually hurt a woman or to hurt somebody, that's not in my realm. That's way beyond my reach."
Myers: Do you feel you have anger-management issues?
Busch: "I feel like I haven't handled a lot of the situations in my past to the best of my ability. As I move forward and as I put things in place, yes, I want to do a better job of coming through this with class and dignity."
Myers: (after reading a statement released by Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, following NASCAR's reinstatement of Busch). Your reaction?
Busch: "There's a road to recovery. I'm following those steps. I've worked with NASCAR through this whole process. I was led to believe the criminal side would have been where there was a decision made, which is the most important side. Beyond what the commissioner had to say, the next step is, yes, all these allegations are false."
Myers: Were there some mistakes, if any, you made along the way in this?
Busch: One of them is not changing the code to my motorhome door, I mean. And frankly, choosing the wrong woman to date. This is a situation that everybody around me and my family has learned from, has been a part of and it's been not just a tough five months but a tough three-and-a-half years."
Myers: Were you worried about your image, your reputation?
Busch: "It's already taken so many hits and done so many things over the years, that the biggest thing I want moving forward is I want this to be me in that car and not anything else. Look at the present. Look at the future. My signature is above the door. That's who I am as a racer."
Myers: You have a fast car here at Phoenix. It's a place you have had success before. Will you be able to focus as much as you always have once you get behind the wheel and race for the win?
Busch: "I'll tell you, I was a little nervous getting in the car Friday and after my first few laps, we were on top of the board and I was like, 'What do you mean we're on top of the board? I had no idea I'd be able to get back in the car and go that fast. I have to do my job now to focus and to be that professional athlete."
Kurt Busch discusses return to car: #41-Kurt Busch met with members of the media following Friday's practice session:
"It was good just to get back in the seat and shake hands with all the guys. Having the support of Stewart-Haas it's been, like family. Then to see the other crew members that I know and some that I don't know who shake my hand and say 'welcome back'. It feels good. For me to just get some laps in today, in race trim the car seems fast. Q-trim, it's a different game this year. That is why we are p.17. I have to learn the car and the feel, because it looks like the lap times are so tight. You mess up just a little bit that Haas Automation Chevy is p.17."
When you are strapping on your gloves and getting ready to go out finally what kind of feeling was that?
"That feeling was home."
Were you concerned at all about perception in the garage?
"We are here to race, that is all we are here to do."
(Chevy Racing PR)(3-14-2015)
Kurt Busch discusses reinstatement: #41-Kurt Busch held a teleconference Wednesday afternoon:
KURT BUSCH: It means the world to me to be back in the car. It's been a tough situation the last few months, and I've gone through this with confidence knowing that I know the truth and that I never did any of the things that I was accused of. It was a complete fabrication. But it's unfortunate that my personal life crossed over and affected my business life, but I can't wait to get to the track, to see my team, to shake their hands and say thanks for the support, and to go out there and make my first lap this weekend.
Q. I'm wondering during the last few weeks what you felt you were fighting for, and maybe the answer is all of the above, if you were fighting for your reputation, your innocence, or your career?
KURT BUSCH: Well, I understand why NASCAR needed to take the action that it did. This is a very serious issue. I mean, the way that NASCAR reacted, it was different than what we had been told all along. They were more focused on the criminal side, as were we, but the commissioner's ruling was not necessarily what was the important factor here. The important factor is that what I was accused of was a complete fabrication, and I never wavered through this whole process because of the confidence in the truth, and I had the support from Gene Haas and everybody at SHR, and that's where my focus has been. It's been on the racing side of it, and I never lost that confidence and that drive, and so it's a humbling experience, but it's made me more focused and determined.
Q. Kurt, you talked about kind of regaining your reputation. Will you still keep "Outlaw" above the door to your car? Do you still kind of go with that outlaw persona? Does that have to change or is that still who you are?
KURT BUSCH: You know, my focus is the race car. My reputation has always been what I've done behind the wheel, and it's moments that I hope to battle and put out on the track like I did with Ricky Craven in the closest finish in the history of NASCAR, it's to focus on the wins at the tracks that I haven't won on or to deliver for Gene Haas on the trophies that he signed me on for that he wants in his trophy room. My reputation will iron itself out in whichever way that it is, but my focus is the race car, and as I move forward, I'm putting my signature above the door of the car, and I'm proud to have my signature on the side of a car that Gene Haas has and to carry his name into victory lane.
Q. I'm curious if you can give any details about what NASCAR and the outside expert that they summoned to put you through the paces here required of you, and secondly, what's been the hardest part about this whole thing for you?
KURT BUSCH: You know, I'm appreciative of the process, of the road to recovery. To me it's a roadmap that they laid out that I am respecting. It's created such a good foundation to utilize moving forward that I wish I would have done it sooner. And the hardest part about all of this has been sitting out watching the 41 car go around the racetrack, especially at the Daytona 500. Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks, and Las Vegas is my hometown track. It's been torture sitting out of the car.
Q. What did you learn being out of the race car, because difficult times teach everybody something. As you sat out of the car and went through all of this for a very long time, what did you learn being out of the car? What did you learn during this time period? And will it be hard to race the way that you race with all attention on you as you move forward?
KURT BUSCH: You know what I learned, the best thing is or what I have been to deal with and what's been the hardest is out of the race car. Being in that race car is a privilege, and it's a feeling that you can't describe when you go out there for practice each and every weekend. You drive down into the corner, the car sticks, you stand on the gas, and you drive out of the corner, it's an experience that not a lot of people get to do, and I get a chance to race against the best in the world in NASCAR. Talking with Brian France and going through this road, he told me, he says, don't change. Don't be the person that's different in the car, but be a different person outside of the car, and so Brian said, go be yourself in that car. That's what we really love. We love Kurt Busch behind the wheel. Go out there, use that passion, go for those wins, and that's my focus is to be humble through this whole process but let actions speak louder than words. (Chevy Racing)(3-11-2015)
Statement from Chevy on Kurt Busch: Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports:
"Now that Kurt Busch has been reinstated by NASCAR and is able to fulfill his obligations associated with our agreement, we have lifted our suspension and will continue to monitor the situation."(Chevy Racing)(3-11-2015)
SHR statement on Kurt Busch: The following is from Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer regarding NASCAR's reinstatement of driver Kurt Busch.
"We appreciate the steps Kurt Busch has made while following NASCAR's process for reinstatement. He has taken this path seriously, which allowed him to return to our race team. With his reinstatement and the conclusion by the Delaware Attorney General to not file charges, our focus is on the future."(SHR / TrueSpeed Communications), Stewart-Hass says Busch will return to the #41 this weekend at Phoenix.(3-11-2015)
NASCAR Lifts Kurt Busch's Suspension; will be Chase-eligible: NASCAR announced that, effectively immediately, the indefinite suspension of Kurt Busch has been lifted. He is eligible to return to NASCAR racing under indefinite probation subject to additional mandatory requirements that include but are not limited to participation in a treatment program and full compliance with any judicial requirements placed upon him. On Feb. 20, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 car, was found to be in violation of:
• Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
• Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty
The decision to lift the suspension was made by NASCAR after Kurt Busch:
• Complied with all requirements in its reinstatement program;
• Completed the mandatory behavioral assessment sessions; and
• The behavioral health care expert who conducted the sessions recommended to NASCAR that Kurt Busch be allowed to return to competition.
Kurt Busch now will undergo additional steps to address the behavior for which he was penalized.
The requirement that a driver must compete in all Championship Events of the current season to be eligible for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has been waived for the period of Kurt Busch's suspension. Assuming he returns to NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, Kurt Busch would have zero Championship points to date after missing the Daytona 500 and the two most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"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," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "We therefore have decided to move him to indefinite probation and waive the Chase requirement. He has fully complied with our reinstatement program during his suspension and the health care expert who conducted his evaluation recommended his immediate return. "We have made it very clear to Kurt Busch our expectations for him moving forward, which includes participation in a treatment program and full compliance with all judicial requirements as a result of his off-track behavior."(NASCAR)(3-11-2015)
Would Kurt Busch be Chase-eligible if he returns?: Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas on Sunday said Chase-eligibility was a factor in whether Kurt Busch, indefinitely suspended by NASCAR following domestic abuse allegations, would be allowed to return to the #41 Chevy. "At this time that's really up to NASCAR," Haas said. "Some of our concerns are, obviously, if he does come back, could we get in the Chase. So, those issues now kind of really reside with NASCAR." The sanctioning body can grant exemptions for drivers who miss races. NASCAR gave exemptions to Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers, who had to sit out with medical problems. And NASCAR said SHR Tony Stewart, who missed three races last year after his sprint car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in an August race in upstate New York, would be eligible for the Chase if he won at Atlanta or Richmond - the two races he drove in before the field was set. Stewart did not notch a victory. Xfinity Series driver Regan Smith has driven the #41 for SHR in the first three races this season in place of Busch, suspended on Feb. 20.(USA Today), the #41 team is now currently (3-9-2015)
NASCAR's Higdon Says Sanctioning Body "Had To Act" By Suspending Busch: NASCAR vice president of Integrated Marketing Communications David Higdon told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" today that NASCAR had no choice but to suspend driver Kurt Busch in the aftermath of a Delaware Family Court's decision to grant a no-contact order to former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. Higdon said NASCAR's decision to suspend Busch during Speedweeks 2015 at Daytona was "based on what we heard from the Commissioner in the Family Court of the state of Delaware."
Asked about the timing of the decision - just days before the season-opening Daytona 500 -- Higdon said, "We were called to task for waiting like we did. We utilized the patience that was necessary to gather the appropriate information. Then, unfortunately, the timing hit us during the Daytona 500 where Kurt received a court order from the Family Court of the state of Delaware. That was a 25-page document that we simply couldn't ignore. It was a very clear case made by that court. When you have a legitimate court in Delaware make a statement like they did, it would have been ridiculous for us to not act. We had been very patient over three months. We were dragged through lot of mud during that period, but we also felt that it was only fair to the driver that the facts come through. When they ultimately did come... we had to act. We had to make a decision (and) it was unanimous among those involved in that decision."
Yesterday, the Delaware Department of Justice announced that it would not file criminal domestic assault charges against Busch, citing insufficient evidence to prosecute. "We knew there was a chance that the Attorney General could go one way or the other," said Higdon, "(and) the Department of Justice was very clear in their statement. They determined that admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be inefficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime. They were very clear on that, just as the Commissioner in the Family Court was very clear that they were satisfied with the evidence that was presented at the trial that there was a case here.''
Higdon repeated the sanctioning body's earlier statement that the decision by Delaware's Department of Justice not charge Busch "certainly is something that is removing a significant impediment to his reinstatement.'' He did not provide a timeline for Busch's return, or comment on conditions the sanctioning body has placed on his reinstatement.(See more quotes/notes at Godfather Motorsports and NBCSports)(3-6-2015)
SHR and Chevy comment on the Kurt Busch situation: SHR co-owner Gene Haas, whose machinery company (Haas Automation) has logos plastered across Busch's firesuit and car, has been a staunch supporter of Busch but has not commented since the suspension. "We appreciate the thoroughness of the Dover Police Department's investigation into the allegations made against Kurt Busch and respect the time the attorney general put into his decision," SHR executive vice president Joe Custer said in a statement. "They are the experts in these matters and the decision not to pursue charges is an important one. We're currently working with NASCAR to understand how this impacts Kurt's reinstatement process."
Chevrolet Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell said the company has not reinstated its personal services agreement with Busch. "Our relationship with Kurt Busch remains unchanged," Campbell said in a statement. "He remains suspended, and we will continue to monitor all aspects of this situation."
Regan Smith has filled in for the first two races of the season and will drive the #41 Haas Automation Chevy this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(NBC Sports)(3-6-2015)
Kurt Busch will not be charged by the Delaware Attorney General's office: Kurt Busch will not be charged by the Delaware Attorney General's office. Attorney General Matt Denn's office declined to file charges stemming from a complaint filed in November by the driver's ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. Thursday's decision concludes a months-long investigation that has kept the NASCAR world guessing what would happen to the driver known as "The Outlaw."
"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 Sept. 26 incident," Delaware Attorney General spokesman Carl Kanefsky said in an email. "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."
Driscoll, president of the Armed Forces Foundation and a defense contractor, alleges Busch grabbed her by the throat and slammed her head three times against the bedroom wall of his motor home during a race weekend in Dover. A Kent County Family Court commissioner ruled in favor of Driscoll last week and granted a protection order against the driver in a separate civil matter. NASCAR, acting off that civil decision, suspended the driver indefinitely, two days before the Daytona 500.
The order, which expires in 2016, stipulates that Busch has to stay 100 yards away from Driscoll, her home and workplace. At NASCAR races he has to maintain the maximum "practicable" distance from her and not attempt to contact her. "We're very disappointed that the Attorney General's office chose not to prosecute, but it only makes the order for the (protection order) that much more important," said Carolyn McNeice, Driscoll's attorney. "I understand their position, but I am disappointed."(Delaware News Journal)(3-5-2015)
AND The decision by the Delaware Attorney General's office, might not affect Busch in the interim because he's under suspension by NASCAR. The sport indefinitely suspended the Stewart-Haas Racing driver before the Daytona 500 -- a decision that was upheld on appeal -- after a family court commissioner issued a detailed opinion Feb. 20 saying that Busch had committed an act of domestic violence against Driscoll. NASCAR hasn't announced the guidelines for Busch's reinstatement but is using a domestic violence expert to help determine Busch's path. Busch has agreed to the NASCAR guidelines. The burden of proof is different in the criminal and civil cases that stem from this incident.(ESPN)(3-5-2015)
Smith named to drive the #41 at Las Vegas: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Regan Smith interim driver of its #41 Haas Automation Chevy for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend March 6-8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race on Sunday will be Smith's sixth Sprint Cup start at Las Vegas. His most recent Sprint Cup start at the 1.5-mile oval was on March 11, 2012 when he finished 15th. Las Vegas will be Smith's third race in the #41 car. He drove the Haas Automation Chevy to a 16th-place finish Feb. 22 at Daytona and a 17th-place finish last Sunday at Atlanta. A driver for the #41 team at next weekend's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix and subsequent races has not been determined.(Stewart Haas Racing)(3-2-2015)
Kurt Busch agrees to NASCAR terms: Kurt Busch has agreed to the terms and conditions dictated by NASCAR that he must complete to get reinstated from his suspension. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Monday that Busch informed the sanctioning body late last week that he would go through the process. Higdon would not reveal details of the terms and conditions, saying that is between the driver and the "expert facilitator" of the program. He said there is no timetable for the Stewart-Haas Racing driver to complete the program. Busch was suspended indefinitely on Feb. 20, two days before the Daytona 500, after a Kent County (Del.) Family Court commissioner released his findings that Busch had committed an act of domestic violence Sept. 26 against his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll (ESPN), for full past news on the suspension and court case, go to #41 Team News and Links page.(3-2-2015)
NASCAR changes rule regarding reporting criminal charges: On Wednesday, NASCAR issued a series of technical bulletins to teams, with most of the additions to the rule book focused on aspects of the cars such as the minimum weight of front and rear hubs, approved brake ducts and other miscellaneous items. However, the first item on the bulletin was listed as "Section 2.11 Required Notice." Under the Membership section of the rule book, this new addition states, "Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR ... prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being so charged, whichever is earlier." This amendment to the rule book has been implemented throughout NASCAR's top national touring series, as well as down to the weekly racing series. Tom Bryant, director, racing operations communications for NASCAR, told FOXSports.com Thursday the new language now requires members to report criminal misdemeanors to the sanctioning body, something that was not the case before Wednesday. "We expect our NASCAR members to maintain a certain standard of professional behavior and this is another mechanism to ensure we're doing that," said Bryant. "NASCAR has made it very clear to our entire membership and the broader industry that any actions of abuse will not be tolerated in the industry," NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell said last Friday in Daytona while addressing Kurt Busch's suspension. "I want to make it clear that any inference that there is a culture or a tolerance for this type of behavior is patently false."(FoxSports)(2-26-2015)
Congrats - Regan Smith: #41 SHR Cup driver / JRR XFINITY driver, Regan Smith announced on Twitter: "Welcome to this world Rhett Lee Smith 5lbs 14oz 18"long May all your dreams become reality :(2-25-2015)
SHR says #41 will race at Atlanta UPDATE: A spokesperson for Stewart-Haas Racing says that the #41 Chevy will compete this weekend at Atlanta but no driver has been confirmed. Regan Smith drove the car to a 16th-place finish in Sunday's Daytona 500 in place of Kurt Busch. NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Friday after a Delaware Family Court Commissioner concluded that "it is more likely than not'' that Busch committed an act of domestic abuse against ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll in September. The commissioner made the pronouncement after granting a protective order for Driscoll. Busch lost two appeals to NASCAR on Saturday to get back in the car. A NASCAR spokesperson said the sanctioning body would send guidelines to Busch on what he must do to be reinstated. The #41 car's primary sponsor for most races is Haas Automation, which is owned by car owner Gene Haas. That led to some questions of it Haas would continue to run the car after Daytona.(NBC Sports)(2-23-2015)
UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Regan Smith interim driver of its #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend Feb. 26-March 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Smith will begin driving the #41 car during the open test session on Thursday. The race on Sunday will be Smith's seventh Sprint Cup start at Atlanta. His most recent Sprint Cup start at the 1.54-mile oval was on Sept. 2, 2012 when he finished 14th. Atlanta will be Smith's second race in the #41 car. He drove the Haas Automation Chevrolet to a 16th-place finish last Sunday in the Daytona 500. Smith already had some history with Stewart-Haas Racing prior to Daytona. He subbed for Tony Stewart in the team's #14 car last August at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. An interim driver for the #41 team at next weekend's Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and subsequent races has not been determined.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(2-23-2015)(
IndyCar is monitoring Kurt Busch case: IndyCar says it is closely monitoring the Kurt Busch situation and ''will act firmly and strongly in responding to all matters of domestic violence." Busch attempted the double last May, running in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. He finished sixth in a Chevrolet for Andretti Autosport, but has not applied yet for this year's race. Andretti Autosport had said he was welcomed back after last year's run.(USA Today)(2-22-2015)
First time no Busch's in a Cup race since 2001: At least one of the two Busch (#18-Kyle, #41-Kurt) brothers has raced in every Daytona 500 since 2000. Sunday's event will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race without a Busch brother since the 35th race of the 2001 season, at Atlanta.(NASCAR Wire Services)(2-22-2015)
National Motorsports Final Appeal Hearing Statement regarding Kurt Busch: This evening, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss, heard and considered the appeal of driver Kurt Busch. The penalty concerns Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12.8: Behavioral penalty.
The penalty stems from activities last year involving Kurt Busch that resulted in a decision by the Family Court of the State of Delaware to issue an Order of Protection of Abuse against him. The penalty is an indefinite suspension. Earlier today, a three-person National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld the original penalty assessed by NASCAR.
Tonight [Saturday, February 21, 2015], Kurt Busch presented his position to the Final Appeals Officer. Representing NASCAR was Jim Cassidy, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. The Appellate Administrator is NASCAR Vice President George Silbermann.
Upon hearing tonight's testimony, Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, made the following decisions:
∑ The appellant violated the Rules set forth in the penalty notice and the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel was correct;
∑ The penalty was within the scope of the guidelines;
∑ The National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer upholds the original penalty levied by NASCAR
The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties. Kurt Busch now has exhausted his appeal options under the NASCAR Rulebook, and the indefinite suspension remains in effect. He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.(NASCAR)(2-21-2015)
Kurt Busch's appeal to be heard Saturday UPDATE 3 both appeals denied: #41-Kurt Busch's attorney said he plans to "immediately" appeal NASCAR's suspension of his client. NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Friday after a Kent County (Del.) Family Court Commissioner concluded that "it is more likely than not'' that Busch committed an act of domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, in September. NASCAR said that Busch could appeal the suspension and that it would "expedite" the process. A ruling on the appeal likely will come before Sunday's Daytona 500. Busch's appeal will be heard on Saturday by a three-member panel. He cannot have a lawyer argue the cause on his behalf, but can have other representatives with him during the hearing. Additionally, Busch can appeal the panel's decision to Bryan Moss, Final Appeals Officer.(NBC Sports)
UPDATE: Busch has appealed, and the hearing begins Saturday at noon at NASCAR headquarters (in Daytona). Regardless of the outcome, SHR plans to stick with Regan Smith for the Daytona 500.(Associated Press)(2-21-2015)
UPDATE 2: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of driver Kurt Busch. The penalty concerns Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12.8: Behavioral penalty.
The penalty stems from activities last year involving Kurt Busch that resulted in a decision by the Family Court of the State of Delaware to issue an Order of Protection of Abuse against him. The penalty is an indefinite suspension. The Appellant appealed both penalties. Upon hearing the testimony, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel decided that the Appellant violated the rules set forth in the penalty notice. The Panel therefore decided to uphold the original penalty assessed by NASCAR. The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Mr. Paul Brooks, Ms. Lyn St. James, Mr. Kevin Whitaker. Kurt Busch presented his position to the panel. Representing NASCAR was Jim Cassidy, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. The Appellate Administrator is NASCAR Vice President George Silbermann. Kurt Busch has the right to appeal the decision to the Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss. Kurt Busch must inform NASCAR of his intent to do so within the guidelines provided to him. The Final Appeals Officer has indicated that he would hear the final appeal, if requested, this evening at the International Motorsports Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.(NASCAR)(2-21-2015)
UPDATE 3: Busch has one last-ditch appeal available, NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said, and NASCAR Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss will hear the Stewart-Haas Racing driver's case Saturday night at 7:30pm/et.
"We are very disappointed that our appeal was rejected by NASCAR's appeal panel," Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement. "We are re-appealing immediately, per the proscribed process. We have significant and strong evidence that contradicts the commissioner's conclusions. In the end we are confident that Kurt will be vindicated and he will be back racing. Until then we will continue to fight on his behalf by ensuring that the entire truth is known."
The NASCAR appeals panel rarely overturns behavioral penalties because of NASCAR's broad behavior rule: "NASCAR membership is a privilege. With that privilege comes certain benefits, responsibilities and obligations. Correct and proper conduct, both on and off the race track, is part of a Member's responsibilities."
NASCAR has no specific penalty for behavioral infractions, which is different than its six-level scale it uses to determine penalties for technical violations. "Behavioral infractions differ from technical infractions in that each is handled on a case-by-case basis, viewed in context, with an understanding of the prominence of the sport, the large fan following that the sport has garnered, the large corporate and sponsor support that the sport attracts, and also with an understanding of the passions that the sport can evoke, as well as, the competitive nature of most NASCAR members," the rule book states.
The final appeal is different than the initial one because now Busch has the burden proof rather than NASCAR. Busch must show that he did not violate a rule, that the penalty is not within the scope of NASCAR guidelines and/or he was denied his rights during the initial appeal. Moss, the former president of Gulfstream, can ask questions and call any witnesses he wants.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France also can step in at any time and lift the suspension.(ESPN)
2nd Appeal Denied: Kurt Busch lost a second appeal of his NASCAR suspension Saturday night, leaving his immediate NASCAR future in doubt. Busch lost an appeal to a three-member panel Saturday afternoon, but appealed that decision to NASCAR's Final Appeals Officer. The second appeal also was denied and the suspension upheld Saturday night. Busch likely would now have to get a court order to block the suspension and allow him to continue racing. "We are unhappy with the latest decision to deny our re-appeal, but we will continue to exhaust every procedural and legal remedy we have available to us until Kurt Busch is vindicated," Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement late Saturday night. "Along the way we intend to continue to call attention to the facts and witnesses that will shed light on Ms. Driscoll's true character, motivations and history."(Sporting News)(2-21-2015)
Kurt Busch Suspended Indefinitely by NASCAR UPDATE2 Smith to Drive: #41-Kurt Busch has been suspended indefinitely, according to ESPN's Marty Smith and multiple reports. Earlier Friday it was ruled that Busch smashed his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll's head against his motor home wall Sept. 26 at Dover International Speedway, according to the conclusions of a Kent County (Del.) family court commissioner who granted Driscoll's request for a protective order Monday. Busch was scheduled to race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, where he was slated to start 24th in the Daytona 500, the sport's biggest event.(ESPN)
see more about the findings at ESPN: Court: Kurt Busch smashed ex's head and Delaware News Journal: Busch likely committed an act of abuse, judge says.
Sources report XFINITY Series driver Regan Smith is expected to replace Busch in SHR's #41 Chevy in the Daytona 500.
NASCAR Indefinitely Suspends Driver Kurt Busch: NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch for actions detrimental to stock car racing following the release today of a supplemental disposition setting forth the findings and conclusions that formed the basis for the Family Court of the State of Delaware's decision on Monday to issue an Order of Protection from Abuse against him. Busch, driver of the #41 car, was found to be in violation of:
∑ Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
∑ Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty
"Given the serious nature of the findings and conclusions made by the Commissioner of the Family Court of the State of Delaware, NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch, effective immediately. He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice. Kurt Busch and his Stewart-Haas Racing team are fully aware of our position and why this decision was made. We will continue to respect the process and timetable of the authorities involved."(NASCAR)
Statement from Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Motorsports and Performance Vehicles: "Chevrolet has suspended its relationship with Kurt Busch indefinitely. We will continue to monitor the events surrounding Mr. Busch and are prepared to take additional action if necessary."(Team Chevy)
Statement from Stewart-Haas Racing Regarding Kurt Busch The following is a statement from Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer regarding Kurt Busch. "We understand NASCAR's position regarding Kurt Busch and accept their decision. We are in the midst of finalizing our plans for the Daytona 500 and we will announce those details as soon as we're ready."(SHR)
UPDATE: Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin said the suspension will be appealed. "We are extremely disappointed that NASCAR has suspended Kurt Busch and we plan an immediate appeal," Hardin said in a statement. "We assure everyone, including NASCAR, that this action against Mr. Busch will turn out to be a travesty of justice, apparent to all, as this story continues to unfold." An expedited appeal could occur before the race Sunday. Hardin, who cannot represent Busch in the NASCAR appeal because the appeal process does not allow for lawyers to represent NASCAR members, reiterated his hope that the family court commissioner reconsiders his opinion based on additional evidence that would show Driscoll is not credible.(ESPN)
UPDATE2: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Regan Smith interim driver of its #41 Haas Automation Chevy for the Daytona 500. Smith has some history with Stewart-Haas Racing, as he subbed for Tony Stewart in the team's #14 car last August at Watkins Glen. Smith was the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and won the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington. He is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and finished second in the 2014 championship standings. Smith, 31, is from Cato, New York. An interim driver for the #41 team at next weekend's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta and subsequent races has not been determined.(SHR)(2-20-2015)
Kurt Busch asks to re-open order; Driscoll to appear on Fox & Friends: Three days after a Kent County (Delaware) Family Court commissioner issued a protective order sought by Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll against the NASCAR driver, Busch's legal team filed a motion to reopen the hearing and delay the scheduled release Friday of the commissioner's conclusions on why he found that Busch had committed acts of domestic violence against Driscoll. Busch's attorneys filed the motion Thursday with new evidence that alleges that Driscoll did not tell the truth when testifying about the alleged Sept. 26 attack at Dover International Speedway. Busch continues to allege that Driscoll was out to ruin him and intimidated witnesses, an allegation that Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin made in a statement Thursday. Hardin has asked this latest allegation to be investigated by the Delaware attorney general. "This evidence bares Ms. Driscoll's motives to ruin and seek revenge on a person in whom she had invested so much and who no longer wanted to be involved with her," the motion states.(ESPN)
AND Patricia Driscoll, the ex-girlfriend on NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is alleging that she isn't the only female in the NASCAR community who is the victim of abuse. Driscoll makes the allegation and explains why she decided to seek a restraining order against Busch in an interview on Fox & Friends scheduled to air Friday Feb. 20.(Examiner)(2-20-2015)
Judge orders Kurt Busch to stay away from Driscoll UPDATE NASCAR Statement: A Kent County Family Court judge has ordered NASCAR's Kurt Busch to stay away from his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, according to a court order filed Monday. The order, good until 2016, says Busch has to stay 100 yards away from Driscoll, her home and workplace. At NASCAR races he has to maintain the maximum "practicable" distance from her and not attempt to contact her, according to the order issued by Commissioner David Jones. Busch is also not allowed to contact Driscoll by phone, email or any other means and has to be evaluated for mental health problems related to anger control and impulse control. He also may not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. The commissioner's written opinion explaining the reasoning behind the order will be released Friday. Carolyn McNeice, Driscoll's attorney, said she and her client were pleased with the decision. "Ms. Driscoll can now know that she will not receive any unwanted communications from Mr. Busch and feel that she is safe after nearly 5 months," McNeice wrote in an email. The decision concludes a long, drawn-out no-contact order hearing between Busch and Driscoll.(Delaware News-Journal)(2-16-2015)
UPDATE: Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement he was not surprised by the decision and that Busch plans to appeal the verdict. He has 30 days to appeal once the full opinion and conclusions are issued by the end of the week. "We are deeply disappointed because we believe the evidence of Ms. Driscoll's total lack of believability was overwhelming," Hardin said. "It is important to note that the commissioner's ruling is a civil family court matter and totally unconnected to any criminal investigation or finding. ... Mr. Busch's conduct was totally reasonable and legal under the circumstances. He never intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused her any injury." Hardin also said that he has new evidence that will challenge Driscoll's credibility and has handed it over to the attorney general's office. Carl Kanefsky, a spokesman for the Delaware attorney general's office, said Monday that there is no timetable for the investigation to be completed. "We deeply regret that Ms. Driscoll has been allowed to abuse the justice system in such a flagrant way," he said.(ESPN.com)
AND Stewart Haas Statement: "These are serious allegations and we do not take them lightly. We are relying on the authorities in Delaware and their collective experience to identify all the facts. They are the experts in these matters and their decision, specifically the one that will be made by the Attorney General, will determine our course of action."(2-16-2015)
NASCAR Statement "NASCAR has been closely following the civil proceedings in Kent County Family Court regarding driver Kurt Busch and therefore is aware of the court order issued today. We now await the full findings of the Commissioner and any actions by the Attorney General of Delaware related to the allegations against Busch. As we stated earlier, NASCAR fully recognizes the serious nature of this specific situation and the broader issue of domestic violence. We will continue to gather information and monitor this situation very closely, and we expect our members to conduct themselves properly."(NASCAR)(2-16-2015)
New Girlfriend for Kurt Busch: #41-Kurt Busch has a new girlfriend, moving on in his personal life even as legal issues stemming from a dispute with his ex linger. Busch posed for pictures with Ashley Van Metre at his #41 car throughout the weekend at Daytona International Speedway. He was all smiles before the Sprint Unlimited and Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying - and even directed some photographers into proper position for a better picture.(Associated Press)(2-16-2015)
Stewart-Haas has contingency plan for #41 team, Stewart and Busch comment: #14-Tony Stewart said the Stewart-Haas Racing team has a contingency plan ready if #41-Kurt Busch cannot drive in the Daytona 500. Busch is still waiting to hear whether he will face charges for an alleged Sept. 26 assault of his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some comments:
Q). We ended last season with an investigation (#41-Kurt Busch domestic abuse) just starting to occur, and here we are starting a new season and it's still unresolved. I was just wondering as a team owner, do you have some contingency plan?
TONY STEWART: Yeah, we do, but we're kind of waiting to see. I'm very hopeful that we won't have to worry about it. I mean, I feel bad he's in that situation right now and that they're both in that situation. But we have to be smart and we have to have a plan in place if it doesn't work out for whatever reason.(Team Chevy)
AND #41-Kurt Busch, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some comments:
Q). Tony said earlier today that the organization had to make a contingency plan. They're hopeful they don't have to put anything into place. I guess the challenges or frustration that this has kind of gone as long as it has and having to deal with that, how does that impact you?
KURT BUSCH: I mean, the days in court and now that we're going close to day 100 as far as all the proceedings go, normal situations that happen around these types of situations take 30 minutes. So sometimes preferential treatment can go the wrong way.
Q). What do you mean by that?
KURT BUSCH: Normal situations like this take 30 minutes, so we're going close to day 100, so we all have to be patient. We all have to understand that there's a process that we have to respect, and the fact that no announcement has come out, each day that goes by continues to be good news, and with the team and their support, they've been fantastic, Gene Haas especially, it's amazing to have the comfort level that I have as well as to have told them the truth and understanding of everything. It's easy to be here and be pumped up about the season that's 10 days away.
Q). Do you feel at peace? Do you feel like you're going to be able to race and be okay?
KURT BUSCH: Yeah, I feel like it's full throttle, full steam ahead.
Q). Are you indicating she's getting preferential treatment; is that what you were saying?
KURT BUSCH: Normal situations like this I've been told take 30 minutes, so mine is four court days and 100 days of waiting.
Q). What's the waiting deadline for you? How do you deal with it?
KURT BUSCH: Well, it's a matter of just knowing that the truth has been told, and we'll see how things unfold. The process, we have to wait on what their decision is going to be.(Team Chevy)(2-12-2015)
Driscoll email called for psy-ops war to manipulate media: As #14-Tony Stewart, coped last year with the most tragic accident ever to happen to him, Patricia Driscoll, the woman now accusing ex-boyfriend and NASCAR driver, #41-Kurt Busch, of domestic abuse, boasted her training in psychological warfare was needed to help Stewart's public relations team manipulate and control the media, according to an email obtained by Kickin' the Tires. "I am writing you because what little know about me you may not know that I have a background in Psychological Operations," Driscoll wrote, in an email dated Aug. 12, 2014. "Part of my training and skill set is to break down large issues and be able to convince large and small groups of people to do what you want. I've worked in countries all over the world waging not only physical wars but mental wars, and I've helped get a lot of Congressman save their jobs when they did some stupid and not so legal things."(see full article at KickinTheTires)(2-11-2015)
Closing statements expected in Kurt Busch case UPDATES: Attorneys are expected to file their closing arguments Tuesday in the no-contact order hearing involving NASCAR's Kurt Busch. The written summations mark the closing stages of an atypical hearing that heard testimony from Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, who alleged the driver smashed her head against the wall three times during a September race weekend in Dover, and from Busch, who claimed Driscoll was a trained assassin who could take him down at any moment. Dover Police Department closed their investigation into the incident last December and turned it over to the state Attorney General's office. The office has not yet announced a decision on the allegations.(Delaware News-Journal)(2-3-2015)
UPDATE: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend repeatedly lied on the stand - making up stories about how he allegedly abused her - so she could destroy the NASCAR driver's reputation, his attorneys argued in their closing statements. "We respectfully request that the Court not reward her perjury and scorched-earth approach of destruction by granting her a protective order," his attorney Rusty Hardin wrote in his closing arguments. "There is only one person in this duo that needs protection, and it is not Patricia Driscoll - it is Kurt Busch." The written summations, filed by attorneys on Tuesday and Wednesday, mark the closing stages of an atypical no-contact order hearing between the driver and Driscoll, who owns her own defense company and runs the Armed Forces Foundation. [Busch's attornies] claimed in their closing arguments that Driscoll, told "legions of people" that she was a trained killer. And she never rebutted the driver's claims about her covert life because she knew people would come forward, according to closing arguments filed in Kent County Family Court. "She easily could have retaken the stand in rebuttal and denied Mr. Busch's testimony that she told him that she had killed people on behalf of the government," a passage from Rusty Hardin's closing arguments said. "She chose not to testify under oath that Kurt's testimony was false because she knew there were legions of people to whom she had repeated the same thing - some of whom believed her and some who did not." Kent County Family Court Commissioner David Jones is expected to make a ruling on the matter in the coming days.(Delaware News Journal)(2-4-2015)
UPDATE 2: Kurt Busch and his attorneys engaged in a smear campaign to cover up the driver's alleged abuse of his ex-girlfriend, according to court documents filed in Kent County Family Court Thursday. In a rebuttal of closing arguments filed Wednesday, in which Busch's attorneys accused Patricia Driscoll of perjury, Carolyn McNeice, Driscoll's attorney, wrote that her client did not perjure herself. McNeice said that Busch's legal team sought to smear Driscoll's reputation to distract from the very real allegations that the driver grabbed her by the throat and slammed her head three times against the wall during a race weekend in Dover. "I suggest instead that Respondent [Busch] does not have a public relations problem; he has a domestic violence problem," McNeice wrote. "He committed an act of abuse and the Court should find in Mrs. Driscoll's favor."(Delaware News Journal)(2-6-2015)
Kurt Busch hasn't discussed running Indy 500 in 2015: #41-Kurt Busch said on Tuesday during the NASCAR Media Tour that a second attempt at the Indy 500 - and with that, a second attempt at The Double of the "500" and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day - has not been discussed by him and team owners Tony Stewart and Michael Andretti. "It's nice to have Tony Stewart's blessing to run Indy, and Michael Andretti giving me the access to come back to give it a shot, but it's something we haven't talked about. There's been plenty of other things in this offseason to stay focused on." As for Andretti, who fielded Busch's Verizon IndyCar Series machine at last year's "500," he told FoxSports.com earlier this month that while Andretti Autosport's main focus is on fielding a fourth car for the 2015 IndyCar season, there was still a chance for something to come together with Busch for the Month of May. "He was a real professional and learned a lot to the point where I think he would be a real factor in the race if we put something together," Andretti said in that interview. "He did a hell of a job last year without experience. Now, with one more year of experience, I think Kurt Busch could be a real factor in the Indianapolis 500 in 2015." Busch's ride with Andretti for last year's "500" was not announced until March.(NBC Sports)(1-28-2015)
Kurt Busch reasserts what he said about ex: #41-Kurt Busch didn't back down Tuesday from his testimony about ex-girlfirend Patricia Driscoll but said he didn't know when a decision would be made in the protective hearing case. Busch has been a part of national headlines after testifying earlier this month that he believed Driscoll was a trained assassin. He also stated that she repeatedly asserted she was and claimed the work took her on missions across Central and South American and Africa. Busch reasserted his claim Tuesday: "What I said was under oath.''(NBC Sports)(1-28-2015)
Kyle Busch tired of being confused with brother Kurt: #18-Kyle Busch said Monday he has not gotten involved in his older brother's personal issues and is disappointed he has been mistaken for Kurt in coverage of assault allegations against the 2004 NASCAR champion. #41-Kurt Busch spent four days over the last two months in a Delaware courtroom as part of a hearing regarding an ex-girlfriend's request for a no-contact order. Patricia Driscoll alleged Busch assaulted her in September during an argument at Dover International Speedway. "Haven't spoken to him, don't know nothing; trying to stay away from it all and let him handle his business," Kyle Busch said. But he's been dragged into it as the case drew national attention earlier this month when Kurt Busch testified he believes Driscoll is a trained assassin. In several instances, Kyle has been wrongly identified as his brother. "I think it's stupid. I think people need to do a little bit more background before they write names or say names if they don't know what the heck they are talking about," Kyle said. "It's not that hard to differentiate between two people that have the same last name. I think people need to do a better job and not be so slackish. It hasn't been bothersome from a sponsorship standpoint, yet, that I know of. I know it could be if it continues to keep going, but it's the wrong brother. But I think the relationship I have with the Mars family is far beyond that, hopefully."(ESPN/AP)(1-27-2015)
Investigation into Kurt Busch's alleged assault of ex-girlfriend continues: A spokesman for the Delaware Attorney General's office told FOXSports.com Friday afternoon that authorities are continuing to investigate allegations that former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch assaulted ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll last fall during the race weekend at Dover International Speedway. Driscoll went to police last Nov. 5 -- 80 days ago -- alleging that Busch slammed her head into the wall of his motorhome three times during an argument. Busch has emphatically denied assaulting Driscoll. The investigation into the alleged assault is being conducted to determine whether or not Busch will face criminal charges. Carl Kanefsky, a spokesman for the state Attorney General, told FOXSports.com that "the investigation is continuing and there is no timetable" for its conclusion. Kanefsky also said no decision has been made about charging or not charging Busch. Earlier, in a Delaware family court, Driscoll sought a court order seeking no contact from Busch. That case has not yet been ruled on, but is expected to be within the next two weeks. (in part from FoxSports)(1-24-2015)
Kurt Busch has no comment on legal issues: Inside the Panic Switch Army retail trailer in one corner of the Chili Bowl souvenir area, Kurt Busch was at rest Saturday. It has been a long January. On the way to a NASCAR/Goodyear tire test scheduled Monday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Busch dropped in on the Chili Bowl Friday and Saturday to get a taste of the country's No. 1 Midget racing event - and to sell a few T-shirts. Busch had spent two days this week in Kent County (Del.) Family Court, where he and others testified in hearings about a protection order filed against Busch by Patricia Driscoll, his former girlfriend. The hearings created interest far beyond the normal reach of NASCAR news, particularly when Busch claimed that Driscoll is a trained assassin, leading Driscoll to insist - again - that Busch is a candidate for treatment for alcoholism and depression. So Busch, weeks away from the start of his second Sprint Cup season with Stewart-Haas Racing, was more than happy to drop in on the Chili Bowl - his first visit, he said - and to leave the legal craziness behind for a while. The judge's decision in the case is expected within the next month. Busch wouldn't talk about his off-track troubles Friday or Saturday. Instead, he roamed the track area meeting fans, visited team co-owner Tony Stewart (who's working with the track-preparation crew here) and relaxed at the Panic Switch Army traveling headquarters. Busch is a partner (along with company executives Luke and Charis Burrett) in Panic Switch, an "urban and streetwear" clothing company that is making inroads in the NASCAR (and other motor sports) souvenir area with on-the-edge apparel and accessories. Among Panic Switch's "team" members are Busch (whose T-shirts are labeled "Outlaw"), Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart and wrestler Bill Goldberg.(USA Today)(1-18-2015)
Kurt Busch court hearing resumes UPDATES: NASCAR driver #41-Kurt Busch is returning to court as a hearing resumes on his ex-girlfriend's request for a no-contact order. Patricia Driscoll claims that Busch assaulted her inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September, and that she still fears for her safety.A Family Court hearing on Driscoll's request for a no-contact order was to resume Monday. Her claims are also subject to a separate criminal investigation. Busch's attorneys have denied the assault investigations and have tried to portray Driscoll as a scorned woman out to destroy Busch's career after he ended their relationship.(Associated Press)
UPDATE: NASCAR's Kurt Busch denied allegations of domestic assault during a court hearing Monday, saying that all he did was cup his hands around his ex-girlfriend's face and tell her to leave. The denials came as he and his defense attorney, Rusty Hardin, re-enacted the events of Sept. 26. It was that night that Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, alleged the driver slammed her head three times against the bedroom wall of Busch's motor home that was parked at Dover Downs International Speedway. Monday was the third day of a hearing related to a protection order filed by Driscoll last year. Hardin spent most of Monday disputing Driscoll's allegations and calling her credibility into question. He has said that Driscoll is a jilted ex-lover who is out to destroy Busch's reputation. Hardin has argued that Driscoll showed up uninvited and refused to leave the night of the alleged assault. Several people testified during the hearing, including Busch, that Driscoll claimed she was a trained assassin who had killed people, including drug lords. While on the stand, Busch said Driscoll claimed that Jessica Chastain's character in the movie 'Zero Dark Thirty' was partly based on her and other females working in counterintelligence and defense. When Hardin asked how he'd fare in a physical confrontation, Busch said he knew she could overpower him. "I knew she could take me down at any moment," Busch said. Earlier on Monday, proceedings began with one of NASCAR's chaplains, Nick Terry. Terry testified that Driscoll told him Busch had grabbed her by the neck and pushed her up against the wall, but that was it. He said that Driscoll asked he and his wife to look for marks or redness on her neck, but they found none. Busch's assistant, Kristy Cloutier, also testified on Monday, saying that she had doubts about Driscoll's claims. Busch would never harm another person intentionally, she said.The hearing resumes Tuesday morning.(Delaware News Journal)(1-12-2015)
UPDATE 2: The NASCAR driver known as "The Outlaw" testified Tuesday he believes his ex-girlfriend is a trained assassin dispatched on covert missions around the world who once returned home in a blood-splattered gown. Kurt Busch, appearing in court again over Patricia Driscoll's request for a no-contact order, continued the push of his legal team to discredit his ex as a scorned woman out to destroy his career, portraying her as a character fit for a screenplay. Busch said Driscoll repeatedly asserted her assassin status and claimed the work took her on missions across Central and South America and Africa. She once left in camouflage only to return wearing a trench coat over a blood-flecked evening gown, he said. The testimony came a day after the driver said his ex-girlfriend told him she was a mercenary who killed people for a living and that she showed him pictures of bodies with gunshot wounds. During the hearing, which stretched over four days, neither Driscoll nor her attorney refuted testimony about her telling people she was a trained assassin.Busch told reporters outside the courtroom: "I'm just glad that the truth got told and we will wait for the commissioner's decision." That decision is expected in a couple of weeks. Busch testified Monday that he decided to end his relationship last fall because she was monopolizing his schedule and he needed to focus on racing.(Associated Press / Delaware News Journal)(1-13-2015)
UPDATE 3: Patricia Driscoll, ex-girlfriend of Kurt Busch, issued a statement Wednesday countering Busch's claim that she is an assassin. "Over the past 7 years I have worked on a movie script with producers about a female CIA operative and her work on classified missions for the U.S.," Driscoll's statement read. "The script was bought by a couple different production companies. Over the years many people have heard the many variations the script has taken each time it was purchased by another studio. Mr. Busch has seen and given commentary to me on the latest script because some of the stories he told on the stand are straight from the script. Mr. Busch's statements in court serve to confirm my belief that he needs professional counseling to deal with his alcoholism and issues of depression. Since day one I have stood by my statements that my motive was not greed but in fact concern for the man I loved. I have previously shared my concerns for Mr. Busch's mental state since the onset of this case only to be dismissed by his legal team. Perhaps now his family and those around him recognize his fragile state and will provide him the mental health care and support he needs. He clearly believes fiction is reality and that's all the more reason he needs help."(Motor Racing Network)(1-14-2015)
Michael Andretti would welcome Kurt Busch back for another Indy 500: Despite his latest issues involving a domestic violence allegation from former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver Kurt Busch would be welcomed back to Andretti Autosport in the 99th Indianapolis 500, team owner Michael Andretti told FOXSports.com. Andretti has told Busch he can drive for his Verizon IndyCar Series team "any time" and stands behind that promise for the 99th Indianapolis 500 on May 24, 2015. "I am a big supporter of Kurt and if we are able to put a deal together for him to run the Indianapolis 500 I will still run him," Andretti told FOXSports.com. "He did a great job at the Indy 500 last year. Right now, our focus is on putting a fourth car together but there is still a possibility for something to come together for Indy. I would love to do it with Kurt Busch again. He was a pleasure to work with." Busch was the Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after starting 12th and finishing sixth at the 2014 Indy 500 - completing all 200 laps. He was the first true NASCAR driver to win Rookie of the Year since Donnie Allison in 1970, who finished fourth in the 500-Mile Race. "We want to have a fourth full-time car. That's our goal. We are working very hard to get to four cars. My ultimate goal is to run five cars for the full year but, if we don't, we want to do a one-off at Indy at least and, if we can put something together with Kurt Busch, we would love to do it. He was a real professional and learned a lot to the point where I think he would be a real factor in the race if we put something together. He did a hell of a job last year without experience. Now, with one more year of experience, I think Kurt Busch could be a real factor in the Indianapolis 500 in 2015."(FoxSports)(1-9-2015)
Kurt Busch has court date Tuesday UPDATES: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is scheduled to appear at Kent County Family Court on Tuesday for a hearing related to a protective order filed by his ex-girlfriend, who last month alleged that Busch had "smashed" her head three times against a bedroom wall in their motor coach following a September race in Dover. Busch will be present at the courthouse, said Dover attorney James Liguori, who is part of Busch's legal team. Busch has to report to the court at 9:00am/et and will be among eleven other hearings at the court on Tuesday, he said. A previously scheduled hearing was postponed earlier this month because Busch was out of the country. "At this point, the evidence, witness statements, etc. are being reviewed on the criminal investigation," [Dover police spokesman Cpl. Mark] Hoffman said in a Monday email. The investigation has been particularly difficult because of the delayed reporting of the incident and the frequent travel related to some of the witnesses, Hoffman said.(Delaware News Journal)(12-16-2014)
UPDATE: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's breakup with his ex-girlfriend turned into an ugly court battle Tuesday when she described Busch in testimony as unstable and struggling with alcoholism and depression. His attorneys countered, describing her as untrustworthy and "extremely mercenary." Patricia Driscoll, who is seeking a court order for Busch to stay away from her, told a family court commissioner that he had choked her and smashed her head into a wall inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway after she drove from her Maryland home to check on him. Busch attorney Rusty Hardin suggested that whatever happened the night of Sept. 26 could have been prevented had Driscoll left when Busch told her to. "I am not to blame for him putting his hands on me," said Driscoll, at times defiant and other times sobbing, prompting Family Court commissioner David Jones to order a recess at one point so she could regain her composure." Defense attorneys have denied the assault allegations, which are the subject of a separate criminal investigation by Dover police. Hardin said Driscoll has not presented any evidence to suggest that Busch has ever physically threatened her. Driscoll said Busch's representatives have repeatedly tried to contact people close to her, and that she fears for her safety. "I don't know what he's capable of doing," she said. Driscoll, 36, was the only witness to testify during Tuesday's six-hour hearing. Lawyers for Driscoll and Busch declined to comment after Tuesday's session as a stern-faced Busch left the courthouse. The hearing is set to continue Wednesday. See more details from the Associated Press.(12-17-2014)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch took the stand during the second day of a protection order hearing in Kent County (Del.) Family Court on Wednesday, calling his ex-girlfriend's allegations that he smashed her head into a wall a "fabrication." The testimony came as a family court commissioner prepared to decide on a protection order filed by Patricia Driscoll last month. There was no decision Wednesday and the hearing will resume Jan. 12, when Busch's lawyer Rusty Hardin will cross-examine him. Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion who has shown flashes of his temper on and off the track earning him the nickname ''The Outlaw," kept a cool head as he staunchly denied Driscoll's version of the story during an hour of direct questioning by her lawyer, Carolyn McNeice. Busch also testified he ended their four-year relationship following a race in New Hampshire, a week before the race at Dover International Speedway, where the alleged altercation occurred Sept. 26. He said the two of them had a discussion en route to Logan International Airport in Boston and in the process he had damaged a rental car. She left him stranded at the airport, he added. The two had no contact in the week leading up to the Dover race, but Driscoll said she did reach out to Busch's mother and was concerned about his alcoholism and depression. Busch said he did not drink the night of the alleged assault and has avoided alcohol during race weekends for 15 years. That night in Dover, Busch said he had been sleeping when Driscoll arrived unannounced at his motorhome with her nine-year-old son. He says he told her repeatedly to leave, but she kept bringing her son in from another room, saying that Busch needed to tell the boy that the relationship was over. Busch said he was naked during the entire encounter, and finally put his hands on either side of Driscoll's face. "I took my hands and cupped her cheeks. I looked her eye-to-eye. I said, 'You have to leave'. I was diffusing the situation," he told the courtroom. "It needs to be described because of the fabrication we listened to yesterday," he later said of the details he shared in court after holding up his hands, showing how he held Driscoll's face. Michael Doncheff, Busch's motorhome driver and personal assistant to the couple, testified Wednesday that Driscoll had instructed him at the beginning of the year to not bring any alcohol on the bus because Busch had a problem. He was the first witness called by Busch's attorneys. Doncheff said he believed Driscoll when she said Busch had assaulted her, but added she had also told him several stories that he thought were exaggerated. He said Busch treated him well but had a temper at times. Busch often deferred decisions to Driscoll, who Doncheff said could be "high maintenance." Doncheff said on the night of the motorhome encounter, Driscoll sent him a screenshot from her earlier text conversation with Busch. He said he thought it might be a good idea for Driscoll to drive to Dover.(Wilmington News Journal)(12-18-2014)
Stewart ok with Busch running the Double again: If Kurt Busch decides to do "The Double" again in 2015, he has the blessing of teammate and Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Tony Stewart. Busch, who became the first driver to attempt The Double in a decade this past May, is reportedly mulling over an encore performance for next Memorial Day weekend where he'd again race in the Indianapolis 500 in the early afternoon, hop a plane to Charlotte and then race in that evening's Coca-Cola 600 for an encore. If Busch wants to do it, he's got Stewart's vote. Of course, Stewart is a bit biased - he tried The Double twice in his career, the last time being in 2001, when he finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 and third in the Coca-Cola 600 later that evening. "I'm 100 percent supportive if he wants to do that again," Stewart said.(NBC Sports)(12-15-2014)
Busch fails to advance at Race of Champions: Nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and new FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg captured the Race of Champions Nations Cup on the first day of ROC action from Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados. Kristensen and Solberg, paired together as Team Nordic, defeated the Team Scotland group of former F1 pilot David Coulthard and current F1 reserve driver Susie Wolff, 2-1, in the final. The home team, Team Barbados, also had a strong Saturday as drivers Dane Skeete and Rhett Watson advanced out of the group stage and then pushed Team Scotland to a third race in the semifinals. Additionally, the local boys won the ROC Caribbean tournament over driving teams from Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago. The U.S. was represented by Indy 500 champ Ryan Hunter-Reay and former NASCAR Sprint Cup champ Kurt Busch (Team USA) as well as jack of all trades Robby Gordon, who was paired with FIA World Touring Car champ Jose Maria Lopez of Argentina as Team Americas. Unfortunately for the star-spangled trio, neither of their teams managed to escape the aforementioned group stage. Hunter-Reay and Busch combined for three wins in Group B (two from RHR, one from Busch) to put them level with Team Barbados behind Team Scotland's five wins. But the Barbadians grabbed the last advance spot over Team USA on fastest lap time.(NBC Sports)(12-14-2014)
Kurt Busch prepares for this weekend's Race of Champions: Champions and driving greats from the world's major racing series are sizing up their opposition for this weekend's Race Of Champions, to be held at Bushy Park Barbados on Dec. 13-14, following Tuesday's draw for the event. The annual end-of-season race, which has been running for more than 25 years, brings together some of the world's best drivers from motorsport's major disciplines and sets them free to battle head to head in identical machinery on a unique track with two parallel lanes linked by a crossover bridge. This year's track at Bushy Park will be twice as long as recent years, leading to even more speed. There are two prestigious titles up for grabs over the weekend, which will feature over 60 individual duels. First, on Saturday, Dec. 13, the drivers pair up in teams based on country/region for the ROC Nations Cup. Then on Sunday, Dec. 14, all friendly cooperation goes out of the window in the Race Of Champions as they slug it out to be crowned individual "Champion of Champions." The ROC 2014 field includes this year's Indianapolis 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, who will partner with past NASCAR champion Kurt Busch for Team USA. The pair will have to compete against drivers including Hunter-Reay's own brother-in-law, Robby Gordon.(AutoWeek)(12-10-2014)
Latest on Danica's 2015 crew chief: The late-season crew chief swap among #41-Kurt Busch and #10-Danica Patrick seems to have worked well for Busch but not Patrick. Busch got Patrick's crew chief, Tony Gibson, for the final three races and finished no worse than 11th in those events. "It was great to get back to an old-school crew chief,'' Busch said. "Real refreshing. (Gibson) understands the car and is able to finesse it in a way to where you're not relying so much on simulation as well as the engineering side of things.'' Patrick got Busch's crew chief, Daniel Knost, who has an engineering background. Patrick finished no better than 18th in her three races with Knost.
So who will be Patrick's crew chief in 2015? "We honestly thought that Daniel is a good choice for Danica, he's very technical, he's very smart, he's been an engineer for a number of years,'' car owner Gene Haas said. "Now that he has one year as a crew chief, we believe that he has the potential to help her improve. Now what Danica feels is really what Danica wants. We're here to give Danica what she feels comfortable with. We'll see how that all plays out. We have a few months to work on that.''(Motor Racing Network)(12-8-2014)
Kurt Busch gets delay on protection hearing: A Delaware family court commissioner has granted NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's request to delay a hearing on a protection from abuse petition filed by his ex-girlfriend. Busch's attorney asked for the delay in court papers filed last Friday, saying Busch is participating in a race car rally in Italy and that his return flight is Dec. 2, the same day as the scheduled hearing. The postponement was granted over the objections of an attorney for Patricia Driscoll, who said Driscoll wants a no-contact order entered as soon as possible. The new hearing date is Dec. 16. The family court matter is separate from an ongoing criminal investigation by Dover police into Driscoll's allegations that Busch assaulted her inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September. (Associated Press)(11-26-2014)
Stump named technical director at Stewart Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has hired Rex Stump as its technical director, effective immediately. Stump comes to Stewart-Haas Racing after an 18-year career at Hendrick Motorsports. There, he founded the organization's research and development program and has been instrumental in chassis design and technology. Stump graduated from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in 1989 with bachelor's degrees in mechanical and automotive engineering. Upon graduation, Stump worked at General Motors and participated in the Sloan Fellowship program, pursuing a master's degree in structural analysis from Wayne State University in Detroit. While at General Motors, he began working with the Corvette team in developing the active-suspension of the C5, which was slated to debut in the early 1990s. When the active-suspension program was canceled and the C5 was delayed, Stump delved into motorsports, becoming a race engineer for Team Penske in 1991. Working with a group of engineers dedicated to improving the performance of the #2 team of driver Rusty Wallace, Stump helped advance Wallace from a two-win season in 1991 to a massive, 10-win season in 1993. By the end of 1993, Corvette had reactivated the C5. Stump returned to General Motors to assist with the project and stayed until the end of 1995, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.(Stewart Haas Racing)(11-20-2014)
Kurt Busch meets with Delaware police: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has met with Delaware police investigating an allegation by his ex-girlfriend that he assaulted her. Police say Busch and his attorneys met with investigators Tuesday afternoon. An attorney for Busch says he was cooperative and continues to deny the allegations by 36-year-old Patricia Driscoll. Police spokesman Mark Hoffman says the investigation is continuing and that no decision on whether to file charges has been made. Driscoll claims she was assaulted inside Busch's motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September, just days after the couple broke up.(Associated Press)(11-19-2014)
Borland to move over to Haas' F1 team UPDATE: One of Gene Haas' first hires for his Formula One, Matt Borland, was recruited from right next door, Stewart-Haas Racing. Although Borland, 43, has straddled his duties between SHR and Haas F1, the engineer turned crew chief and now vice president of competition on the NASCAR side will take of the role as vice president of special projects for the F1 team at seasons end. "Formula One is certainly a lot more technical and I think Borland is looking for the challenge," Haas told Motorsport.com. "He's been doing this a long time and even I have been doing NASCAR a long time and I look at Formula One, like next year we'll have a whole year to see how these cars are built. I've already had a couple of opportunities to see how the cars are built and they're just very fascinating. It's going to give us an opportunity to take some of our NASCAR crew people and say, 'hey, here's an opportunity to learn something new, can you apply that to Formula One and vice versa. The Formula One people from Ferrari are also interested in how we do things." Haas and Borland attended the F1 race at Circuit of the Americas last month. Haas also visited the Maranello-based Ferrari during the Italian Grand Prix. In Austin, Borland preferred to remain under the radar while on his fact-finding mission.(Motorsport)(11-13-2014)
UPDATE: Veteran motorsports engineer Matt Borland has been named vice president of technology for Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing. In this role, Borland will serve as a liaison between the two organizations - Haas F1 Team in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Borland will oversee the transfer of Formula One technology to Stewart-Haas Racing while providing Haas F1 Team with deep engineering resources. Concurrently, the highly-respected Borland will serve as a gatekeeper, ensuring the privacy of proprietary information respective to each team. Borland joined Haas CNC Racing, the precursor to Stewart-Haas Racing, in May 2007. He has served in numerous capacities, including crew chief, competition director, technical director and, most recently, vice president of engineering, where he oversaw all of the team's technical initiatives and research and development projects. Borland came to Haas CNC Racing with significant NASCAR experience, first with Team Penske from the end of the 1999 season through 2006 and then with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007. Prior to coming to NASCAR, Borland was the race engineer for driver Mark Blundell at PacWest Racing in Champ Car and before that, Borland was at Pi Research, a well-known engineering organization specializing in motorsports.(SHR)(11-18-2014)
Congresswoman calls for NASCAR to suspend Kurt Busch UPDATE2: A congressional lawmaker is calling on NASCAR to suspend driver Kurt Busch from Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway until the recent domestic accusation against him is fully resolved, SI.com has learned. In a letter addressed to NASCAR president Mike Helton and Stewart-Haas owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), called the charges made by Patricia Driscoll, Busch's former domestic partner, "horrifying."
"But despite the severity of the criminal allegations against Mr. Busch," Speier writes, "I am disappointed to see that NASCAR and Stewart-Haas Racing have not taken any action. Your response to these serious allegations has been totally inadequate." Speier has also asked to be looped into the internal investigations of NASCAR and SHR, and for "a history of sanctions levied by NASCAR and racing teams for domestic violence incidents brought to your attention over the last five years."(in part from Sports Illustrated)
UPDATE: NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday that no action will be taken against the Sprint Cup driver. France confirmed Friday that Rep. Jackie Speier sent a letter to NASCAR president Mike Helton and to Stewart-Haas Racing saying she was "disappointed" that Busch hadn't been suspended until the matter is resolved. Busch has not yet been arrested or charged with any crime. "We are watching that case carefully," France said Friday. "It's under review by law enforcement and others. They haven't made a decision on that regarding Kurt. Until they make judgments on that investigation, it wouldn't be right to intervene before it's completed." NASCAR has rules covering inappropriate or criminal behavior away from arenas, but it does not have a policy addressing domestic violence on its own. The rule book has a section covering violations and disciplinary action, including penalties that can be determined "by the gravity of the violation and its effect on ... the interests of stock car racing and NASCAR." France said Friday that NASCAR is sensitive to the issue of domestic violence. "You can expect our policies to reflect the understandable awareness that that's not going to be tolerated," France said. "How any league handled some of this is one thing. It's pretty clear when you see what's happening around the country that our policy will reflect the significance and importance that it should."(ESPN)(11-14-2014)
UPDATE2: "If every time somebody made an allegation against a congresswoman or a congressman, and they were then to be suspended from their office until the investigation was concluded, we'd have an empty Capitol building," Busch lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a phone interview with Sporting News. "While that might please the public to have that building be empty, it certainly wouldn't be fair to the person the charge or allegation was made against." Hardin said that while domestic violence is a serious issue, with no charges filed Busch should be allowed to do his job and Speier's letter was "inappropriate."
"He not only has adamantly denied it, but when the investigation is concluded, I think people are going to realize it is a fabricated charge," Hardin said. "I don't know where in the world this congresswoman thinks we've moved to where you start punishing people just because somebody makes an allegation. ... For a congresswoman to make these kind of statements is just ludicrous. I hope she's in the minority and everybody will wait to find out what the true story is. When they do, they'll find out that this didn't happen. We're not going to participate in it, we're not going to try every charge (in public). But when a congresswoman sends a letter like this, I feel compelled to remind everybody we still have due process and presumption of innocence in this country even if she doesn't recognize it." Obviously pleased with the decisions by NASCAR and the team to let Busch race, Hardin said he has been in arbitration all week and Busch will talk to Dover police investigators in the "near future. I hope we can do it outside the glare of public media. But, I can assure you, he's cooperating fully and in the near future will be visiting with them."(Sporting News)(11-15-2014)
Haas has not considered pulling Kurt Busch from car: Kurt Busch will continue to drive the #41 Chevy at Stewart-Haas Racing as long as co-owner Gene Haas has anything to do with it. Busch, who is being investigated by Dover (Del.) police for an alleged assault on ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, will drive Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, will be in the car next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway and continue to drive for the team for the foreseeable future, Haas said Sunday. "He'll be in the car until someone else pulls him out," Haas told a small group of reporters before the Phoenix race. "I'm not pulling him out." Haas' company, Haas Automation, is the sponsor of Busch's car and will continue to be on the hood during the investigation, he said. "I think we're just going to let the police department do their job and try not to say anything that would compromise that," he said. "We want an unbiased investigation and we'll see how it all plays out." Is Haas worried about what the investigation might find? "The facts I know, I'm not concerned about it," he said.(USA Today)(11-10-2014)
Kurt Busch being investigated for domestic assault STATEMENTS & UPDATE3: Dover Police Issue Statement In Regards to Ongoing Kurt Busch investigation: Due to numerous media inquiries regarding a criminal investigation involving professional race car driver #41-Kurt Busch, the Dover Police Department has issued the following statement: The Dover Police Department can confirm that an investigation is being conducted based on an allegation of domestic assault that is alleged to have occurred in the City of Dover involving Mr. Busch. These allegations were brought to the Dover Police Department on Wednesday, November 5th at 2:00PM. At this time, the department is still investigating the victim's claims and will not have any further comment on this matter in order to preserve the integrity of the case. The Dover Police Department will release further information as it becomes available. We appreciate the public's and media's patience in this matter and are confident that the department is taking the proper investigative steps to ensure the case is resolved appropriately.(Dover Police Department)
NASCAR Statement from Brett Jewkes, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Regarding Dover Police Department Release: "NASCAR is aware of the investigation involving driver Kurt Busch. We recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment further on this matter until we have more information."(NASCAR)
Stewart-Haas Racing Statement: "This is an allegation Stewart-Haas Racing takes very seriously, but we're still gathering all of the facts and are not in a position to comment in greater detail," said SHR spokesman Mike Arning.
Armed Forces Foundation Statement: "I want to, first and foremost, express the direct support from the Board of Directors of the Armed Forces Foundation to Ms. Driscoll. For more than a decade, Ms. Driscoll has been a tireless worker and advocate for our nation's service members, veterans, and military families. The Foundation will continue working to support service members, veterans, and military families and we ask that Ms. Driscoll's privacy be respected. Given the serious nature of the allegations, the Foundation has suspended its association with Mr. Busch." - Mr. Pat LaFrieda, Board of Directors Co-Chairman.(AFF Facebook)
UPDATE: Busch has been accused of domestic assault by his ex-girlfriend, and police in Delaware said Friday they are investigating. The Dover Police Department said the allegations were brought to the department Wednesday. Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, 36, said the allegations involved an incident inside his motorhome at a race at Dover International Speedway in September. The couple broke up about a week before. Driscoll has filed court documents asking that a judge order Busch to stay away from her and not contact her. She also is asking that Busch undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be evaluated by a certified domestic violence treatment agency. The documents, filed Wednesday, say Busch was despondent the night of Sept. 26 after his poor performance at the qualifying session. "He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself," the documents say. Driscoll said Busch, 36, called her names and accused her of "having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him." He then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed, Driscoll says in the documents. Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran from the bedroom, going to a nearby bus to put an ice pack on her head and neck. She said the incident caused her severe pain, difficulty breathing and bruising on her neck. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 2.(in part from the Associated Press)
UPDATE 2: Busch's attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement calling the allegations "a complete fabrication."
"The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr. Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light," the statement said. "This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect. At this time we intend to have no further comment in the media out of respect for the Dover Police Department's desire to conduct a thorough investigation without a media circus."(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-7-2014)
UPDATE3: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend waited nearly six weeks to file a domestic assault claim with police because she was locked in a custody battle over her son, the attorney for Patricia Driscoll said Saturday. Mark Dycio told USA TODAY Sports that Driscoll did not immediately go to Dover police after the alleged assault occurred on the advice of counsel. She's currently involved in a fight for custody over son Houston with her ex-husband. After the custody situation was stabilized, Driscoll then went to the Dover police and provided them with text messages, photographs and people with knowledge of the situation to support her claims, Dycio said.(full story at USA Today)(11-9-2014)
NASCAR owner plans to launch Formula One team in 2016: Gene Haas made the rounds Saturday in the paddock at Circuit of the Americas, enthusiastically shaking hands and attempting to convince people in the business of Formula One that an American race team will succeed. The past, the present and the future perhaps aren't looking kindly upon his plan, but Haas is getting the pieces and finances in place for a 2016 launch of Haas F1 Team. "We're just getting around the garage," Haas told USA TODAY Sports after a day of meeting with F1 officials, manufacturers and team principals Saturday. "We had several people from different teams come up and shake hands and introduce themselves. We're just becoming more noticed around here. It's going to be a quick year next year, and I want to make sure people know who we are." Haas already has a technical partnership in place with Ferrari, and he says things are moving forward with the plan for a team headquarters in Kannapolis, N.C. It's a tough sell in light of the circumstances surrounding Sunday's United States Grand Prix, but Haas remains optimistic. Two F1 teams, citing financial difficulty, dropped out in the week leading up to the USGP. Three others are said to be considering a boycott of Sunday's race, although all three took part in Saturday's qualifying. Perhaps best known to American race fans as Tony Stewart's partner in Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup, Haas, 61, is the founder of Haas Automation, a computer numerical control machine tool manufacturer. The last effort by Americans to launch an F1 team failed. In 2010, former Haas CNC Racing technical director Ken Anderson and former Williams and Ferrari manager Peter Windsor attempted to form USF1 Team, but it fell apart before getting to the racetrack. Haas said he isn't concerned that his project won't work. Originally scheduled to launch next season, he postponed the launch earlier this year to 2016. An American driver hasn't raced in F1 since Scott Speed in 2007, but Haas says he isn't looking specifically for American drivers, instead leaning toward drivers with F1 experience. At first, anyway. Given the current issues of F1 and the struggles of some of its teams, Haas thinks he could be in good position to find talent, especially experienced F1 engineers.(USA Today)(11-2-2014)
New crew chief starts with Kurt Busch: Beginning this weekend, the mechanics, engineers and entire road crew for the #41 team of Kurt Busch will be led by crew chief Tony Gibson, who will take the seat atop the Haas Automation pit box. For Gibson, leading a race team isn't just about making the right calls during any given race. Instead, the Daytona Beach, Florida native takes a hands-on approach with his racecar at the SHR shop, and it extends all the way to the racetrack - something many consider to be old school. He oversees every aspect of the development of the team's fleet of racecars. He takes great pride in working with his cars, from bare chassis, to hanging the car's body, to painting and decaling the car, to setting up the car for each track. Gibson wants to be there with his racecars each and every step of the way. Gibson came to SHR in 2009 from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., to serve as Ryan Newman's crew chief of the #39 Chevy. Many of the crewmembers who worked with him came to SHR, as well. As such, Busch gets a close-knit crew that believes in the old-school mentality that has been a key to the group's success. A look at Busch's career shows that he's seemed to thrive when he's paired with a crew chief who shares that same, old-school mentality that Gibson has. Busch has been quick to compare Gibson to Jimmy Fennig, with whom he's won 14 Sprint Cup races and the 2004 championship.(SHR)(10-30-2014)
Zippadelli takes about crew swap, possible changes to #14 team: Greg Zipadelli met with the media Friday at Martinsville to discuss the crew swap between the #10 & #41 teams that was announced this week:
TAKE US THROUGH THE CHANGES THIS WEEK:
"This week obviously we have made some changes for Texas between the #10 and the #41. We are just basically looking to try to get both teams to be a little more consistent. They have had speed throughout the year, but haven't necessarily put the whole season together all the races at the level that we expect from them. Tony Gibson has got a lot of experience. That group has been with a lot of veteran drivers. We just felt like it was worth moving him over to Kurt (Busch). We feel like his experience and things will help put that group together and get the finishes that we need out of that team. As far as Daniel (Knost) he is a young aggressive, very smart engineer. Danica (Patrick) is used to more of that dealing with the engineers from her background. She actually, a while ago, talked about having the opportunity to work with a younger engineer and build the relationship over time. I just kind of feel like it was the time to do it. We have three races with us not sure what the testing policy is for next year. This is a good opportunity for us to switch things up for Texas. The last three races and just see how things go."
DANIEL (KNOST) IS THE INTERIM DOES HE HAVE THREE RACES TO EARN THAT JOB?
"No, we just have a lot of things going at Stewart-Haas. We have a lot of people moving here this fall. I would like to believe that Daniel will have that position. I think it is just kind of wait and see, Danica how she works with him and how they get along. Then with Haas F1 Matt (Borland) moving over there we have got a lot of things moving in our company. Daniel is going to be with SHR for a long period of time. It's not a matter of whether he doesn't do a good job there. He has done a great job. We really fed him to the wolves. He was a guy without a lot of experience. He won a race, made the Chase, it's just been and up and down year. I think he has a lot of potential, we put him with Danica. I think they have got the opportunity to learn and grow together as Danica continues to grow every week. Like I said Kurt and (Tony) Gibson have a lot of experience in the past and hopefully the experience the two of them have we can put that together and make a pretty solid team."
ANYTHING COMING FOR THE #14?
"The #14 car is a different subject. These guys have gone through a lot. Chad (Johnston) has come in, new engineer, they are trying to learn each other plus deal with the situations they have gone through. We are looking at that situation completely different right now and we haven't quite got to the end of what we are doing there. If changes need to be done we are just really trying to get that group to bond to work together to figure out what Tony (Stewart) needs. They went to this rules package and a lot of these things. They missed a lot of the testing last year with his (Tony Stewart's) broken leg, this year with the incident that he had. That is a completely different element that I really don't want to get into today."(Chevy PR)(10-25-2014)
Stewart Haas swaps crew chiefs, road crews on #10 & #41 teams: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, will swap crew chiefs and road crews between its #10 and 41 teams beginning with the AAA Texas 500 race weekend Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Crew chief Tony Gibson will move from the #10 GoDaddy team of Danica Patrick to the #41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch. Crew chief Daniel Knost will move from the #41 team to serve as the interim crew chief for Patrick and the #10 team. The road crews assembled by each crew chief will also make the swap. However, the pit crews for each respective team will not be moved. "We made this change to evaluate our program and to get a head start on 2015," said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, Stewart-Haas Racing. "With the ban on testing next year, the last three races of this season take on even greater importance. For Tony Gibson and Kurt, they'll get three races together that will provide direction for next year. And for Daniel Knost and Danica, this is an opportunity for them develop a rapport that could potentially continue into 2015."(Stewart Haas Racing)(10-22-2014)
Gibson will return to Stewart-Haas UPDATES: Danica Patrick's crew chief is not going anywhere. Tony Gibson tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he has a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing. Gibson came on board as crew chief for Patrick for the last two races during her 10-race partial Sprint Cup schedule in 2012. Since then, he's been the only crew chief she's had in her two full-time seasons in NASCAR's top series. With Gibson, Patrick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the season-opening Daytona 500 in 2013. Together, they have four top-10 finishes together and he has overseen Danica's gradual growth this season. Gibson has three Sprint Cup victories, all atop the pit box for Ryan Newman from 2010-12 during that driver's tenure with Stewart-Haas. He made his crew chief debut in NASCAR's top series at the 1994 season finale for veteran Jimmy Hensley. Gibson has also worked with Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin among others.(NASCAR Illustrated)(10-19-2014)
UPDATE: Tony Gibson is keeping the band together - but that might not include Danica Patrick. For more than a dozen seasons, the veteran crew chief has been supported by the same cast of racers that were assembled at Dale Earnhardt Inc. - and have survived through driver and ownership changes. Gibson has been at Stewart-Haas Racing since the beginning. Although he was originally assigned to Ryan Newman and the #39 team, Gibson was named crew chief for Patrick in her penultimate race of 2012 and has been with her ever since. While there has been distinct improvement in her second full season in the Sprint Cup Series, rumors circulated last month that Patrick might be shopping for a new crew chief. "That's for Stewart-Haas and them to figure out," Gibson said. "I told them when I signed up, I'll do whatever they need me to do - wherever I need to be placed that they think I can do the best job, that's what I'll do. I don't think any of that has been decided as far as I know. I know they'll work on all that stuff and decide who needs to be placed where, for the best, and what makes the most sense for our company. My deal isn't for one particular driver. It's where I can be the most beneficial for the company and that's kind of where we left it."
Still, team owner Gene Haas believes that his teams could benefit from restructuring. Despite both #41-Kurt Busch and #4-Kevin Harvick qualifying for Chase and posting four wins between them, he's not pleased with the results. "Kurt is a unique driver," Haas said. "He has a lot of passion for what he does. That kind of driver requires some special members to make it work and I don't feel we have the right combination. So we're looking at that and make some changes on that team to make it work better. We're really not happy. That team should have done better. Kevin Harvick's team should have done better, too. He's been fast all year long, seven or eight poles, leading a huge amount of laps, but we haven't won as many races as we should. So, I think there's a little bit of evaluation with all the teams, but that's pretty common."(Motorsport)(10-21-2014)
UPDATE 2: Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch will swap teams and crew chiefs beginning with the Nov. 2 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. An official announcement of the change could come as early as Wednesday, sources said. SHR officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. On Saturday, Tony Gibson, who has served as the only crew chief Patrick has had as a fulltime Cup series driver, signed a contract extension with SHR but the organization would not specify what his role was to be in the future. Beginning at Texas, crew chief Daniel Knost and the members of Busch's current #41 team will move over to Patrick's #10. Gibson, along with the members of Patrick's current #10 team, will move to Busch's #41 team.(Charlotte Observer)(10-22-2014)
Kurt Busch to participate in Race of Champions: American NASCAR superstar Kurt Busch has accepted the invitation to participate in the 2014 Race Of Champions, to be held at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14. Busch has been a major force in America's most popular racing series ever since he became the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion in 2004, the first year the 10-race Chase for the title was introduced. He has now amassed 25 top flight wins, including victory at this year's STP 500 at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. In 2014 Busch also became only the fourth driver in motor sport history to attempt a very special double-header. On the same day in May, he raced both in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway and the world-famous Indianapolis 500. His run to 6th place on his debut at the IndyCar classic earned him the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award. That mix of ability will now certainly serve Busch well as he bids for even more glory at his Race Of Champions debut in December. Busch will also have the honour of racing for his home country as he partners this year's Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay for Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup. Busch and Hunter-Reay were team-mates in this year's Indianapolis 500, both piloting cars for Andretti Autosport. Team USA last won the ROC Nations Cup title in 2002 with a NASCAR-heavy team of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Colin Edwards. This year Busch and Hunter-Reay will be part of a ROC line-up featuring stars from all over the world: nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen, Formula 1's Romain Grosjean (the reigning ROC Champion of Champions) and Susie Wolff (Williams development driver), Australian V8 Supercar legend Jamie Whincup and 2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg are already confirmed. The rest of the ROC 2014 field will be announced in the run-up to December's event.(Race of Champions)(10-22-2014)
State Water Heaters debuts on #41 Kurt Busch will park his typical black-and-red Chevy SS for Saturday night's Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in favor of an orange-and-black model. The #41 Chevy will sport new colors when State Water Heaters, a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water heaters, adorns Busch's ride for the first time. Based in Ashland City, Tennessee, State Water Heaters has seven water heater manufacturing plants and hundreds of distribution centers across the United States to ensure efficient service to State's national customer base of residential homeowners, wholesalers, contractors, and members of the engineering community. Founded in 1946 by Herbert Lindahl, State Water Heaters began in a Nashville garage as a small entrepreneurial company producing coal- and wood-burning stoves. In the years that followed, State Water Heaters expanded and became a leader in the water-heating industry through steadfast commitments to seeking new materials, new technology and innovative engineering techniques.(SHR), see an image of the car on the #41 team paint schemes page.(10-8-2014)
Career start #500 for Kurt Busch: This weekend, Kurt Busch, the driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will become a member of another elite club of drivers as he makes his 500th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Dover. Busch began his Sprint Cup Series career in 2000, when he ran a limited, seven-race schedule for Roush-Fenway Racing in the #97 car. His first race came at the same concrete mile oval where the Sprint Cup Series will race this weekend. In that first race, Busch started 10th and finished 18th. Now, 499 races, 25 Sprint Cup Series victories and one Sprint Cup Series championship later, Busch is poised to make his 500th start at the same track where his Sprint Cup career began. To commemorate his accomplishment, Busch's Haas Automation Chevy will have a special brushed-metal appearance this weekend at Dover and also will carry a 500th start logo on the nose of the car. For the third consecutive season, Busch has teamed with the Armed Forces Foundation to race in memory or in honor of a service member for each race during the 2014 Sprint Cup campaign. U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Radovanic has been selected as the race dedication for the AAA 400 (SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #41 Team Schemes page.(9-25-2014)
Haas F1 Team...new name: What was initially known as Haas Formula is now Haas F1 Team. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and chairman of the newly renamed Haas F1 Team, opted for the name change to better correlate his team with motor racing's most prestigious series - the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Haas F1 Team takes the place of the previous name, Haas Formula, which will remain the legal entity. Haas F1 Team will be the public and commercial name of the first American-led Formula One team since 1986. Its Website, www.HaasF1Team.com, launched on Tuesday.
"Haas F1 Team automatically conveys our place among the pinnacle of motorsports," said Haas, who founded Haas Automation in 1983 and has shaped it into the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. "When you hear 'F1' you know exactly what it is - a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice when the Haas F1 Team debuts in 2016 is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand."
The FIA granted Haas a Formula One license in April. Well before then, ground was broken on an 11.600 square-meter (125,000 square-foot) facility adjacent to Haas' NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in Kannapolis, North Carolina, that will house the Haas F1 Team. Construction is scheduled to be completed in November.
Haas' motorsports holdings include the Haas F1 Team, NASCAR's Stewart-Haas Racing and Windshear.
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by Haas and three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. It fields four entries - the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Danica Patrick, the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick and the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Kurt Busch - and operates out of a 13.000 square-meter (140,000 square-foot) facility with approximately 270 employees. Stewart-Haas Racing won the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with Stewart.
Windshear is a 290 kph (180 mph) rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, North Carolina, that is the first of its kind in North America. Founded by Haas, it is only the third rolling-road wind tunnel of its scale in existence and the world's first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel. Windshear is available for hire to all motorsports teams and auto manufacturers. NASCAR, INDYCAR, sports car and NHRA teams utilize Windshear, as does the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which has conducted tests on production cars at Windshear.(TSC)(9-3-2014)
Kurt Busch interested in Indy 500 again next year: Kurt Busch created a memory that he has said will last forever when he competed in the Indianapolis 500 this past May, finishing sixth in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. On Sunday at Watkins Glen, Busch reaffirmed his desire to give it a second shot. The Outlaw finished third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen, establishing momentum for his second-consecutive Chase berth. While focused on the remainder of the season and his attempt to win a second Sprint Cup championship, Busch made no secret of his desire to return to Indianapolis next May. "It's a bit too early," Busch said of how close he is to announcing his Indianapolis return. "Right now, our focus is the Chase and trying to keep others from punching their ticket to get in. We don't have much news." Team owner Michael Andretti has repeatedly said that he wants Busch back next season if the logistics can pan out. He believes that a second consecutive year of running in the 500-mile Race would establish Busch as one of the favorites. For his part, Busch is definitely interested. "I'd like to do it," he said. "We'll see how it pans out."(Popular Speed)(8-12-2014)
Haas to delay F1 entry: Haas Formula will defer its Formula One debut until 2016, Motorsports.com has learned. The decision to wait an extra year will offer the organization more time to put its program together and align itself with the proper partners moving forward. Although team owner Gene Haas said on Sunday morning that he was "leaning towards Ferrari" because "they're more open to what we need to do" the additional time could open other doors for the rookie team with other technical partners. It was clear that Haas was feeling the time crunch when he acknowledged, "It just seems that it's taking longer to accomplish what we wanted to do than we thought." While Haas Formula has its team principal in place, there's still the question of technical partner, designers and drivers.(Motorsport.com)(5-28-2014)
Kurt Busch named Indy 500 Rookie of the Year: Andretti Autosport driver Kurt Busch has been named the winner of the prestigious 2014 Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award for his performance during the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the first Verizon IndyCar Series race of his career, Busch, in his #26 Andretti Autosport Suretone Honda, was the fastest qualifier (12th) and highest finisher (6th) among the seven rookies in this year's Indianapolis 500. In addition to the prestige of being named Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Busch also earned a $25,000 bonus from Sunoco as part of his total race winnings of $423,889. Busch was presented with his award Monday night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Awards Celebration.(Indianapolis Motor Speedway)(5-28-2014)
Kurt Busch's double starts well, ends bad: #41-Kurt Busch was in position to do what only his team co-owner Tony Stewart had accomplished before: complete all 1,100 miles of the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be. Busch became just the fourth driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, joining Stewart, John Andretti and Robby Gordon. Busch's sixth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day had him on track for the historic feat. The open-wheel result was the best by any rookie in Sunday's race and tied him with teammate Stewart for the best finish by a driver attempting The Double. Stewart finished sixth in the 2001 Indianapolis 500. Per the NASCAR rulebook, Busch was forced to start the Coca-Cola 600, the second race of his Double attempt, from the rear of the field due to the fact he could not make the trip back from Indianapolis to Charlotte in time for the Sprint Cup Series driver meeting. Busch arrived by helicopter on the Charlotte Motor Speedway frontstretch approximately 20 minutes before the start of driver introductions. The #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet methodically worked its way forward in the beginning laps of NASCAR's longest event.
By the halfway point of the race, Busch and the #41 team remained on the lead lap in 13th position. During the pit cycle on lap 216, Busch raced as high as fifth before coming to pit road for adjustments. When Busch came to pit road for routine service on lap 217, the #41 was hit by the #17 car as it exited its pit stall. The incident caused damage to the left rear of the Haas Automation machine. Shortly after the pit-road incident, on lap 225 Busch told the team that he dropped a cylinder. One lap later he told the crew over the radio that he lost a second cylinder. Busch did his best to nurse the engine for the remainder of the race, but the #41 suffered a complete engine malfunction on lap 271, ending his night in 40th position, 129 laps short of the full-race distance.
"The motor blew," Busch said. "It acted like it swallowed three cylinders all at once, and so it was really slow. It's kind of a shame, you know. It almost symbolizes how tough it has been this year on the Haas Automation team. We gave it our all, and the way we were clawing it up there and got a lucky break with the caution one time. I thought we were making good gains on the car, and it was great to race in traffic. To feel the stock car right after driving the Indy car was a day I'll never forget. I can't let the mood here with the car dampen what happened up at Indy today. That was very special. It takes a big team - it takes a team everywhere. Andretti Autosport gave me a top-five car to try and win the 500 with, and these Stewart-Haas guys gave me a good car tonight. The motor just went, sometimes that happens. All in all I gave it my all. I tried hard. I had a lot of people helping me out. I want to say thanks to Gene Haas, Tony Stewart, Michael Andretti and this whole group. Everyone worked hard on this on both sides."(SHR)(5-26-2014)
Kurt Busch going for the double - Indy 500 & Coca Cola 600: On Sunday, for the ninth time, a driver will attempt to race both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Kurt Busch is the latest to sign up for this most daring of double-duty, driving at Indy for Andretti Autosport. Green flag is at noon (ET) for open-wheel's biggest race. Later Sunday afternoon he'll jet down to Charlotte to jump into his #41 Haas Automation Made in America Chevy for the 6:00pm/et start.
The eight previous double-dips have been divided up by only three drivers - John Andretti (1994), Robby Gordon (1997, 2000, 2002-2004) and Tony Stewart (1999 and 2001). Stewart has the best result - by far - in the books, having finished sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte in 2001, in the process becoming the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles between the two races.
The results in the 'doubles':
(year - driverL Indy Finish, CMS finish, total laps / total miles)
1994 - John Andretti: 10, 36, 416 / 820
1997 - Robby Gordon: 29, 41, 205 / 326.5
1999 - Tony Stewart: 9, 4, 596 / 1090
2000* - Robby Gordon: 6, 35, 335 / 702.5
2001 - Tony Stewart: 6, 3, 600 / 1100 (all laps both races)
2002 - Robby Gordon: 8, 16, 599 / 1098.5
2003 - Robby Gordon: 22, 17, 444 / 835
2004 - Robby Gordon: 29, 20, 485 / 815.5
UPDATE: 2014 - Kurt Busch: 6, 40, 471 / 906.5
*Note: in 2000 Gordon arrived late to CMS and P.J. Jones started the car, Gordon ran 135 laps and finished 35th, credited to Jones.
Busch will start 12th for the Indianapolis 500, but crashed in a Monday practice session and will be forced to a back-up car, but maintains his starting position. Busch will start 28th in the Coca Cola 600.(in part from NASCAR and in part from research)(5-25-2014)
Special website follows Kurt Busch's attempt at 'the double' allows donations to AFF and more: Join Kurt Busch as he becomes the 4th NASCAR driver ever to attempt the "Double" - racing in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. By pledging a small amount for every lap Kurt completes, you can ride alongside the Outlaw as he helps to provide assistance to our brave men and women of the Armed Forces when they need it most.
Kurt Busch isn't the only one doing the double this Memorial Day weekend. Country music star Brantley Gilbert will be attending the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 as part of the sponsorship of Indy rookie, Sage Karam, and then fly to Charlotte to perform a pre-race concert for the Coca-Cola 600.
Basis will be with Kurt Busch every step of the way - literally - as he prepares for 1,100 miles of grueling, intense racing. Fans will be able to see his progress as he focuses on getting in tip-top shape, ensuring the right amount of rest for recovery and keeping things under control with his frequent heart rate checks. Basis is a revolutionary wrist-based device that tracks physiological data like heart rate, sweat level, skin temperature and movement 24/7. Basis is the world's most advanced health tracker and will be tracking Busch's progress, including his races and workouts, leading up to this epic racing challenging. You can check out Basis, info on donating by laps to Armed Forces Foundation and follow Busch at kurtbuschdouble.com.(5-20-2014)
Statement from Gene Haas Regarding FIA's Grant of Formula One License: Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. The following is his statement. "Obviously, we're extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. It's an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula One. Now, the really hard work begins. It's a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid. I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our license application come to fruition." Founded in 1983 and based in Oxnard, Calif., Haas Automation is the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. Stewart-Haas Racing won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2011. Haas also founded Windshear, a 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, N.C., that is the first of its kind in North America. It is only the third rolling-road wind tunnel of its scale in existence and the world's first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel.(True Speed Communication)(4-11-2014)
Haas's US team to be given green light into F1 by next year UPDATE: Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that a new team run by an American businessman is on track to join Formula One next year. It will become the sport's 12th team and the first from America since the 1980s. Formula One has not had an American driver since 2007. The team is run by Gene Haas, the joint owner of the championship-winning Stewart-Haas Racing team [#4, #10, #14, #41], which competes in America's NASCAR stock car series. "I think Haas will be accepted," said Ecclestone, the sport's chief executive. "They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it." In addition to his stake in the NASCAR team, Haas is also the founder of leading American engineering firm Haas Automation, which has annual revenues of around $1bn (£600m). It gives him the resources to fuel his bid and he is already using it to attract top names, as GŁnther Steiner, a former technical director of the four-time Formula One champions Red Bull Racing, is understood to be involved.(The Independent)(4-3-2014)
UPDATE: Formula One commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone says a U.S. backed team headed by Gene Haas is among two new teams the sport is likely to admit next season. Speaking on Sunday ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ecclestone said he had held discussions with the sport's governing body, the FIA, and there was agreement about expanding the grid next season. "They will be accepted, and we've also accepted another team as well, although whether they'll make it or not is another story," Ecclestone said when asked about a possible Haas entry. I've spoken to (FIA President) Jean Todt and we agreed yesterday." The initial deadline for a decision on new 2015 entries expired at the end of February, but an agreement between Ecclestone and the FIA would likely be able to override that deadline.(ESPN/AP)(4-6-2014)
Kurt Busch wins at Martinsville Speedway: #41-Kurt Busch won the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 1st win of 2014, his 2nd at Martinsville Speedway and his 25th career win. It is his first win since Dover in October 2011.
It is the first win for car #41 since Curtis Turner won at Rockingham on October 31, 1965.
#48-Johnson finished 2nd followed by: #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #22-Logano, #9-Ambrose, #20-Kenseth, #4-Harvick, #43-Almirola, #15-Bowyer, and #27-Menard..
Polesitter #18-Busch finished 14th
#3-Austin Dillon was the rookie of the race, finishing 15th.
#99-Edwards, who came into the race as the points leader finished 13th, so #88-Earnhardt, Jr. retakes the points lead, 9 points over #20-Kenseth.
There were 33 lead changes (a record for this race) among 12 drivers and there were 14 cautions for 92 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 72.176mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Martinsville Speedway Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Martinsville Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the OfficialMartinsville Speedway Race & Points Report (pdf).(3-30-2014)
Atlas Copco To Serve as Associate Sponsor of #41 Team in 2014: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has expanded its partnership with Atlas Copco, which will serve as an associate sponsor of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS and driver Kurt Busch during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "We enjoy a longstanding and successful partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing," said John Brookshire, president, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC. "We are proud to be part of their team at the track and in the race shop, and we're looking forward to supporting the expanded SHR lineup in the 2014 Sprint Cup Series. It is especially exciting to kick-off this close partnership with the #41 team in our 141st year in business," added Brookshire. As part of the relationship, Atlas Copco is providing new compressed air equipment and installing its SmartLink monitoring technology into SHR's new 125,000 sq.-ft. state-of-the-art race shop expansion located next to the team's existing headquarters in Kannapolis, NC. This year is the first time Atlas Copco will appear as an associate sponsor of an SHR car for the full season. Atlas Copco will appear on the B-post of Busch's #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet and on the sleeve of Busch's firesuit.(SHR)(2-23-2014)
Born in MARCH
29 Kim Wood Hall, Jamie DiPietro, Carole Houchins, Olivia Andretti
30 Pam Bickford
31 Angus Young, Richard Jackson, Scott Houston, Dana White, Rocky Ryan
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1 David Gilliland, Ruben Garcia, Kim Irvan
2 Sam Johns, Dan Pardus, Ricky Hendrick, Brain Franklin
3 Speedy Thompson, Doug Duchardt, Shorty Rollins, Jeff Wernham
4 Bill France Jr., Justin Alexander, Justin Diercks, Robert Richardson, Scott Brzozowski
5 Mike Bliss, Buffy Waltrip, Brandy Wallace, Eric Kerley
6 Herb Thomas, Ken Bouchard, Jeffrey Overcash, Chris Carrier, Ramo Stott, George Elliott
7 Billy Mauldin, Loy Allen Jr., Chandler Parrott, Brittany Elliott, Russell Crowe, Bill Carpenter, Kristen Eversole
8 Matt Yocum, Bill Fleischman, Monte Dutton, Butch Mock, Junie Donlavey, Eddie Wood, Robert Pressley, Mark Green, Kathy Ehret, Connie Champion, Ryan Eversole
9 Suzanne Belber, Ed Schafer, Jacques Villeneuve, Jamie Little, Chuck White, Hunter Nicole Dodson, Richard Brown
10 John Dowd, Steve Bisciotti, Kasey Kahne, Robby Pearson, Neil Castles Jr., D.K. Ulrich, Tom Dignan Sr
11 Karsyn Jarrett, Bass Master, Al Keller
12 Mike Calinoff, Tim McCreadie, Lori Lucus, Richard Hutcherson Jr., Bob Strait, Duane Cross, Curtis Turner
13 Dr. Joe Mattioli, Dalton Buice, Dan Gurney, Mike Ford, Jessica Punch
14 Tony Raines, Steve Byrnes
15 Bobby Hutchens, Marty Smith, Kevin Conway, Jason Rudd, Brian Holshouser
16 Alicia Lingerfeldt, Bob Flock, Matt Dusenberry
17 Tony Glover, Len Wood, Brandon Thomas, Carl Larson, Brooke McReynolds, Carol Mears, Reid Spencer
18 Geoff Bodine, Tyler Labonte, Kale Kahne, Jim Noble, Melanie Self
19 Robert Yates, Richard Yates, Jack Roush, Greg Erwin, Kevin Grubb, Al Unser Jr., Aaron Keuhn
20 Frank Stoddard, James Barnwell, Ron Barfield, Adrian Fernandez, Dustin Skinner/P>
21 Bill Ingle, Bruce Silver, Bob Varsha, Greg Zipadelli, Ralph Seagraves
22 Wesley Gantt, Stella Paysor, Raygan Swan
23 U.S. Army Reserve, Brian Whitesell, Jason Keller, Phil Gould, Joe Keller, Skip Manning, Terry Glotzbach, P.J. Jones, Tommy Croft, Charles Gafrarar, William Shakespeare, Jacob Meetze
24 Hermie Sadler, Paul Wolfe, Harrill Hamrick, Stephanie Hillin, Amanda Lorenzen
25 Alex Bowman, Jason Lee, Alkie Cunningham
26 Martha Oliver, Jimmy Kitchens, Charles Moles
27 Shelly Bose, Jason Haynes, Austin Dillon, Jason Sheets
28 Tyler Hmiel, Jeff Neuendorf, Zach Case
29 Dale Earnhardt, Larry Frank, Angie Skinner, Chad Little, Jerry Schweitz, Alexandria Fennig
30 Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Andy Hillenburg, Joe Millikan, Amelia Joy Smith, Chris Browning, Ashton Glover, Frank Kimmel