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Kurt Busch’s Suspension Lifted

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 11 2015

Kurt Busch has had his suspension lifted. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Sprint Cup’s Kurt Busch moved a step closer to a return to racing on Wednesday.

NASCAR announced Wednesday that, effectively immediately, the indefinite suspension of the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has been lifted.

NASCAR’s statement on the situation read, in part: “Kurt Busch 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.”

Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, was suspended because of an alleged domestic violence incident involving former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll on Sept. 24 of last year at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

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.”

On Feb. 20, Busch 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.

“Busch now will undergo additional steps to address the behavior for which he was penalized,” the NASCAR statement said.

“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.”

Regan Smith had been filling in for Busch in the No. 41 SHR Chevrolet on an interim basis.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 11 2015
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