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Wait limit – Kurt Busch races to move on
- Updated: February 14, 2015
By Jerry Jordan — DAYTONA BEACH – When the 2014 season ended, former NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch was waiting on whether Dover (Del.) police would forward a domestic violence allegation by his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, to the Delaware Attorney General for possible prosecution. He was also waiting to see if a family court would issue a protective order against him after Driscoll claimed she was afraid of him.
Now, it’s a new Sprint Cup season and 103 days have passed since Driscoll made her claim. It’s been 40-days since the case was forwarded to the attorney general for review, 33-days since Family Court Commissioner David Jones adjourned proceedings for the protective order and Busch is still waiting.
Since she first went to police – six weeks after the alleged abuse supposedly occurred – a lot of information has been brought out through the courts and independent investigations. In court, Driscoll admitted she went – uninvited – into Busch’s motor coach on September 26 using a code she learned when the two were dating. Busch, who was asleep inside, woke up and told her repeatedly that she needed to leave – a fact she did not dispute in court.
According to Delaware law, it is a crime to enter someone’s property without permission or refuses to leave when asked. The charge would be criminal trespassing; however, there has not been a charge levied against Driscoll at this time.
“A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree when the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building or upon real property which is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner manifestly designed to exclude intruders,” states Delaware Code Title 11, Chapter 5; Section 822-Criminal trespass in the second degree; is an unclassified misdemeanor.
Delaware law states Busch has three years to file charges against Driscoll for criminal trespass.
Additionally, based on further review of Delaware law, Busch was entitled to use force to make Driscoll leave his motor coach. After asking her to leave four times, according to his testimony in court, she still refused to go. It was at that point, Busch said he cupped her face in his hands, looked her in the eyes and said, “You need to leave.” He said it was possible that when he tilted her head back that she could have bumped against the wall in the bedroom of his motor coach.
“(a)The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is immediately necessary: (1) To prevent the commission of criminal trespass or burglary in a building or upon real property in the defendant’s possession or in the possession of another person for whose protection the defendant acts,” states Delaware Code – Section 466: Justification – Use of Force for the Protection of Property. “(b)The defendant may in the circumstances named in subsection (a) of this section use such force as the defendant believes is necessary to protect the threatened property, provided that the defendant first requests the person against whom force is used to desist from interference with the property.”
So, at what point is the wait too long? Busch obviously wants to focus on racing rather than his ex-girlfriend, who is now referred to as “Pocket Commando” after a promotional video surfaced that gave some credence to claims in court by Busch and others that she is a trained assassin for the government. On Friday, Busch ran the fastest lap of any driver on the track, turning a speed of 200.749 mph. It was the only 200-plus mph lap of either qualifying session for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited.
A day before, he met with the media and went over his thoughts on the 2015 Sprint Cup season. For him, “it’s full-throttle, full-speed ahead” on the racing front. Of course, he indicated he wanted the issues with Driscoll put to rest, so he can move forward.
“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,” Busch said. “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.”
One thing Busch was happy about was that his side of the story was brought out in court because, with the civil and criminal investigation still pending, he was able to tell his side of the story.
“It’s a matter of just knowing that the truth has been told, and we’ll see how things unfold,” Busch said.
His focus is on racing. It’s what Gene Haas and Tony Stewart pay him to do. And with that in mind, there is another important issue on his mind with the Daytona 500 just a week away. What would he do if he and Stewart were racing for the win in the final laps since neither of them have ever won the sport’s most prestigious race.
“I know Tony wants to attack 2015 harder than he’s attacked any season before, and he’s as hungry as ever. He hasn’t won the Daytona 500,” Busch said. “I would almost hate for the fact of it coming down to Tony or myself for the win here at Daytona. I mean, I’m driving a Haas Automation Chevrolet. That’s my No. 1 job. No. 2, though, it’s Gene Haas and it’s Tony Stewart. I love Tony and the whole group of people there, but I already pushed a teammate to win the Daytona 500 once before, so I want to go and get my own. But this race, there’s so much that can happen, so much that goes on, we’ll worry about that with five to go if it’s in place.”
Looking ahead – whether to the courts or the checkered flag – the waiting game continues.