NASCAR has reinstated Kurt Busch after he was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in a domestic assault case involving ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. The driver will return to the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series heads to Phoenix International Raceway for the Camping World 500.
Busch will remain under indefinite probation and must undergo additional steps to address the issues that led up to Driscoll incident, NASCAR says. He missed the first three races of the season after being suspended for ‘actions detrimental to stock car racing’, but will now make a full return and will also be eligible for the Sprint Cup Series championship.
“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,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said in a statement. “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,” O’Donell added.
Busch said it “means the world to” him to be back in the car and once again denied ever committing an act of domestic violence against Driscoll, a stance he has maintained throughout the ordeal.
“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,” the Sprint Cup champ said in a statement to reporters Wednesday.