Court: Kurt Busch smashed ex's head

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Kurt Busch smashed his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll's head against his motor home wall Sept. 26 at Dover International Speedway, according to the conclusions of a Kent County (Del.) family court commissioner who granted Driscoll's request for a protective order Monday.

Busch is scheduled to race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, where he is slated to start 24th in the Daytona 500, the sport's biggest event.

NASCAR has not disciplined Busch, instead waiting for the findings Friday and possibly for a decision by the Delaware attorney general's office on whether charges will be filed for the alleged Sept. 26 assault. There was no immediate comment from NASCAR on the findings released Friday afternoon.

"The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that, on September 26, 2014, Respondent [Busch] committed an act of domestic violence against Petitioner [Driscoll] by manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand on her chin and face and smashing her head into the wall of his motor home," commissioner David Jones wrote in his findings and conclusions.

As part of his decision, Jones will require Busch "to be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional" and complete any further steps for treatment that person recommends. Jones wrote that he would not require Busch to enter into a "batterer's intervention program," because in his opinion, Busch did not profile as a habitual "power and control batterer." Jones characterized the incident of domestic violence as "likely situational in nature."

Busch claims Driscoll entered his motor home uninvited -- the couple had broken up a week earlier -- and he cupped her face with his hands while repeatedly asking her to leave.

In his opinion released Friday, Jones wrote that Driscoll's version of the events that night was more credible, citing, among other things, her demeanor when she recalled and described the events of that night.

"[Busch's] version of the events is implausible, does not make sense and is unlikely to be true given the totality of the other evidence admitted at trial," Jones wrote.

Busch has asked Jones to reconsider the ruling, and Jones has still not decided whether to reopen the case.

"We know that Kurt never committed an act of family violence," Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement Monday. "The evidence was un-contradicted that Ms. Driscoll committed the criminal offense of trespass when she entered his motor home at night, while he was sleeping, uninvited, without permission, and refused to leave when he repeatedly asked her to get out.

"Mr. Busch's conduct was totally reasonable and legal under the circumstances. He never intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused her any injury."

Busch told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he was "focused on racing" and declined further comment, referring to his attorney's statement Monday.

"It's a matter of just knowing that the truth has been told, and we'll see how things unfold," Busch said Feb. 12, the day before practice began at Daytona.

Both sides tried to shed doubt and attacked each other's credibility during the family court hearing, which at times took bizarre turns.

Driscoll characterized Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, as battling alcoholism and depression leading up to the alleged assault. Busch testified he was afraid of Driscoll, whom he believed was a trained assassin because of the stories and photos she had shared with him.

"The assertion that [Busch] would be chastened from assaulting [Driscoll] for fear of the possibility of physical injury is further discredited, in the Court's view, by the fact that [Busch] makes his living risking his life on an almost daily basis by aggressively driving a race car at speeds often approaching 200 miles per hour in close contact with others driving in the same manner, at the same speed," Jones wrote.

Busch opted to get his side of the story out in court over two days of Delaware family court hearings in December and two more days in January.

Busch is basing his request for reconsideration on the protective order on new evidence his attorneys claim shed more doubt on Driscoll's claims and reinforce their argument that Driscoll is a spurned lover looking to ruin the NASCAR driver's career. Included in that evidence, according to the motion for reconsideration, is Beverly Young, whom Driscoll considers her mother although they are not biologically related, stating that she did not believe Driscoll's claims.