NASCAR indefinitely suspends Kurt Busch (VIDEO)

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR indefinitely suspended Kurt Busch on Friday, a few hours 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 in September.

“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,” NASCAR’s statement read. “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.’’

Busch, the 2004 series champion, was found in violation two NASCAR rules:

Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing.

Section 12.8: Behavior Penalty

NASCAR’s Behavior Penalty states that those in NASCAR have certain responsibilities and obligations. Those include: “Correct and proper conduct, both on and off the race track.” NASCAR also notes in its Rule Book that “a Member’s actions can reflect upon the sport as a whole and on other NASCAR members.”

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president, said in a brief statement Friday that Busch has the right to appeal the suspension. If Busch does so, O’Donnell said NASCAR would “expedite” the appeal process. That could be completed before Sunday’s Daytona 500.

“NASCAR has made it very clear to the entire membership and the broader industry that any actions of abuse will not be tolerated in the industry,” O’Donnell said. “I want to make it clear that any inference that there’s a culture where tolerance for this type of behavior is patently false.”

Joe Custer, executive vice president for Stewart-Haas Racing, stated: “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.”

NASCAR Chairman Brian France said last month that series officials would react if needed in this matter.

“The only thing we want to do is, and this is important, we’ve got to let the facts come in,’’ France said during the NASCAR media tour. “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.’’

Chevrolet also announced that it has suspended its relationship with Busch indefinitely.

Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Motorsports and Performance Vehicles, said: “We will continue to monitor the events surrounding Mr. Busch and are prepared to take additional action if necessary.”

Busch’s ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, sought a protective order, alleging that Busch slammed her head against the wall in his motor home three times last September at Dover International Speedway. That came shortly after the breakup of their four-year relationship. Driscoll had gone to the track to console Busch after a series of text messages led Driscoll to be concerned about Busch.

Commissioner David Jones wrote Friday that “it is more likely than not that on September 26, 2014, (Busch) committed an act of abuse against (Driscoll) by manually strangling (Driscoll) with his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand against her chin and face, causing her head to forcefully strike the interior wall of (Busch)’s motor home, thereby recklessly causing physical injury to (Driscoll) and recklessly placing (Driscoll) in reasonable apprehension of physical injury.’’

Jones issued a protective order Monday. The order stated that Busch be evaluated “for mental health problems related to anger control and impulse control.’’ Busch must follow any recommendations of a licensed mental health treatment provider for counseling or treatment.

Driscoll issued a statement Friday night:

“For victims of domestic violence there are no “victories.” My only hope is that the pain and trauma I suffered through this process will help other victims find their voice. Unfortunately we live in a culture where stories like mine are often swept under the rug out of fear and with the knowledge that for every person who shows empathy many more will seek to disparage the victim. It is bad enough to endure the actual physical abuse but the verbal attacks that follow when a victim speaks up are sometimes just as painful.

“Today NASCAR took an important step and deserves to be commended.  The next steps are to develop a thorough process and policies that reenforce the organization’s position it took today:  Domestic violence will not be tolerated in NASCAR.”

Dover (Del.) Police investigated the incident and sent its report to the Attorney General’s Office of Delaware in December. The Office has not determined if to seek charges against Busch.

Busch’s career has been littered with incidents on and off the track with competitors and media that have led to NASCAR penalties. NASCAR suspended Busch for one race in 2012 for threatening a reporter after a then-Nationwide Series race at Dover.

In what was called a “mutual agreement” to separate, Busch lost his ride with Team Penske after the 2011 season. NASCAR fined Busch $50,000 for directing profanity toward a reporter and using an obscene gesture during that year’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Additionally, Roush Fenway Racing fired Busch in Nov. 2005 after he was cited in an alcohol-related incident in Avondale, Ariz. during the Phoenix International Raceway race weekend.

Ryan Luza wins NASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race at Bristol

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Ryan Luza won Tuesday night’s NASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race held on a digital Bristol Motor Speedway.

Luza, who competes for Williams ESports, claimed the win in a three-lap overtime finish over Garrett Lowe and Zack Novak.

Then event was slowed by five cautions in the last 48 laps of regulation, with the last one occurring with four laps left and forcing the overtime finish.

Luza is the first repeat winner of the season after winning consecutive events.

“We just had an amazing long-run car,” Luza said. “I had a pit stop malfunction on the first pit stop after we got to third on the first run. I was pretty upset. But we got another long run and we came flying through the field after about 30 laps. … I think we pretty much had the field covered on the long run there.”

The series’ next race is scheduled for April 14 on a digital Richmond Raceway.

Results

  1. Ryan Luza (Williams eSports)
  2. Garrett Lowe (Wood Brothers Racing)
  3. Zack Novak (Richmond Raceway eSports)
  4. Michael Conti (JR Motorsports)
  5. Bobby Zalenski (Virtual Racing School)
  6. Brad Davies (JR Motorsports)
  7. Alex McCollum (G2 eSports)
  8. Michael Guest (Team Dillon eSports)
  9. Caine Cook (Renegades eSports)
  10. Justin Bolton (Stewart-Haas eSports
  11. Bob Bryant (Kyle Larson Racing eSports)
  12. Keegan Leahy (Denny Hamlin Racing)
  13. Nick Ottinger (William Byron eSports)
  14. Jake Nichols (Mode Motorsports)
  15. Ray Alfalla (Virtual Racing School)
  16. Christian Challiner (JTG Daugherty Racing)
  17. Graham Bowlin (Joe Gibbs Racing)
  18. Steve Sheehan (Kyle Larson Racing)
  19. Matt Bussa (Williams Esports
  20. Kollin Keister (Roush Fenway Racing)
  21. Logan Clampitt (Burton Kligerman eSports)
  22. Michael Guariglia (Jim Beaver eSports)
  23. Chris Shearburn (Letarte eSports)
  24. Jarl Teien (G2 eSports)
  25. Phil Diaz (Mode Motorsports)
  26. Brian Schoenburg (Clint Bowyer Racing)
  27. Casey Kirwan (Denny Hamlin Racing)
  28. John Gorlinsky (William Byron eSports)
  29. Ashton Crowder (Burton Kligerman eSports)
  30. Brandon Kettelle (Clint Bowyer Racing)
  31. Malik Ray (Joe Gibbs Racing)
  32. Jimmy Mullis (Richmond Raceway eSports)
  33. Chris Overland (Wood Brothers Racing)
  34. Santiago Tirres (Letarte eSports)
  35. Corey Vincent (Renegades)
  36. Dylan Duval (Stewart-Haas eSports)
  37. Jeremy Allen (JTG Daugherty Racing)
  38. Eric Smith (Jim Beaver eSports)
  39. Nathan Lyon (Roush Fenway Racing)
  40. Blake Reynolds (Dillon eSports)

 

Joey Logano Foundation establishes $1 million COVID-19 fund

Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images
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The Joey Logano Foundation has established a $1 million COVID-19 response and recovery fund in partnership with Elevation Church, the foundation announced Tuesday.

The funding will address a variety of needs, including educational equity and access, medical supplies, food distribution and financial shortages throughout the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area and communities across the United States. Elevation Church is based in the Charlotte suburb of Matthews, North Carolina, and has locations in Virginia, South Carolina, Florida and Canada.

“I’ve been blessed to have the ability to help others with our platform and for the past few weeks, the Joey Logano Foundation has been able to help in multiple ways on a local level,” Logano said in a statement. “However, (wife) Brittany and I knew we could do more and felt a huge calling to give on a larger capacity at a statewide and national level.

“Partnering up with Elevation Outreach couldn’t have been a better fit. At a blistering pace, Elevation Outreach and the Joey Logano Foundation have been able to create a $1,000,000 COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which will help provide funding and necessary supplies for organizations in need during this scary time. Part of JLF’s mission is to inspire others to live a life of generosity and our hope is that this Response and Recovery fund is a catalyst for others to be inspired to give back during this pandemic.”

For more information, contact foundation@joeylogano.com or outreach@elevationchurch.org.

NASCAR Texas event tops TV record for eSports event

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Last weekend’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series event from a virtual Texas Motor Speedway, drew 1.3 million viewers, breaking the record for eSports TV viewership set bv the previous week’s race.

The data is according to Nielsen Sports.

Last weekend’s event from the digital Texas Motor Speedway, won by Timmy Hill, was broadcast on FOX and FS1. Not all FOX markets aired the race.

The previous record for eSports viewership on TV was 903,000 for the March 22 race from a digital Homestead-Miami Speedway that Denny Hamlin won and aired on FS1. The Texas viewership was 1,339,000.

The next event in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series takes place at 1 p.m. ET Sunday from a virtual Bristol Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast on FOX, FS1 and the Fox Sports App.

 

A look at iRacing rigs NASCAR drivers are using

Photo: Erik Jones
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With NASCAR racing postponed through early May at this point, drivers are spending their time on their iRacing simulators.

The eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series continues this weekend with drivers competing at a virtual Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday. Denny Hamlin won the opening race at a digital Homestead-Miami Speedway. Timmy Hill won last weekend’s race at a virtual Texas Motor Speedway.

Here’s a look at the various sim rigs drivers are using.