NASCAR heard Kurt Busch's appeal today regarding the indefinite suspension he was given over conclusions drawn by the Commissioner of the Family Court of Delaware that Busch likely strangled ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. That appeal was just denied.
As soon as people saw him storm out of the NASCAR offices, many knew the news couldn't have been in Busch's favor:
Kevin Whitaker, Lyn St. James and Paul Brooks were the three panelists in charge of hearing Busch's appeal this afternoon, which was rushed to ensure it would happen before the Daytona 500. Jim Cassidy, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for NASCAR, represented the sanctioning body.
The panel in charge of the appeal upheld the penalties, given their determination that Busch violated both rules regarding "actions detrimental to stock car racing" as well as the catch-all "behavioral penalty."
According to motorsports reporter Jenna Fryer, Busch has one final appeal he can make tonight of the suspension to the Final Appeals Officer Byran Moss. Busch and his attorney Rusty Hardin have also released a statement regarding the panel's decision.
"We are very disappointed that our appeal was rejected by NASCAR's appeal panel. We are re-appealing immediately," reads the statement, as quoted by Jenna Fryer in tweets. "We are confident that Kurt will be vindicated and he will be back racing," the statement continues.
Even if Busch wins the appeal of his appeal's decision, getting back into his car is going to be tough now that Chevrolet has dropped their support of Busch entirely. Busch's #41 Sprint Cup race car is a Chevrolet on the Stewart-Haas racing team. Regan Smith will be driving #41 for the Daytona 500, according to a team statement released yesterday.
UPDATE: According to USA Today, Rusty Hardin appealed the panel's decision on behalf of Kurt Busch tonight to NASCAR Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. Moss upheld the panel's decision, citing that the Delaware court findings fell squarely under "actions detrimental to stock car racing." Per the report, Busch will now focus his attention on appealing the protective order itself.
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