Kurt Busch laments length of protective order hearing

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kurt Busch says he doesn’t know when a Delaware judge will make a decision in a protective order hearing brought by his ex-girlfriend but suggested that she was getting “preferential” treatment.

“Normal situations …  take 30 minutes, so sometimes preferential treatment can go the wrong way,’’ Busch said Thursday at during Daytona 500 Media Day. “We’re going close to day 100 now.’’

Busch’s timeframe goes back to Nov. 7 when Dover (Del.) Police announced an investigation based on Patricia Driscoll’s accusation that he struck her in his motorhome Sept. 26 at Dover International Speedway. Driscoll claims that Busch grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall that night.

Dover Police sent its investigation to the state attorney general’s office in December but no decision has been made whether to charge Busch. A Kent County (Del.) judge has yet to rule in a protective order hearing Driscoll brought. Busch and Driscoll were in court two days each in December and January. No timetable has been set for a decision to be made.

“We all have to be patient,’’ Busch said. “We all have to understand that there is a process we have to respect. The fact that no announcement has come out, each day that goes by continues to be good news.

“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.’’

Tony Stewart said Thursday that Stewart-Haas Racing has made contingency plans should Busch’s legal issues keep him from competing.

NASCAR Chairman Brian France has said series officials will react, if necessary, in regards to Busch.

“The only thing we want to do is, and this is important, we’ve got to let the facts come in,’’ France said last month. “There would be no reason for me or NASCAR or anybody else to get ahead of those facts given that they may change. Let’s let the facts come in, and if there’s something for us to react to, you can appreciate that we will be very careful and very aware of what the circumstances are.’’

Asked about his conversations with NASCAR, Busch said: “There’s been clarity of what will happen if something happens. It’s easy to understand.’’