NASCAR reinstates Kurt Busch; grants him waiver for Chase

NASCAR lifts ban on Kurt Busch, eligible to return to track

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR has lifted its suspension of Kurt Busch and says the former champion can compete in the championship Chase should he qualify.

Busch missed the first three races of the season when NASCAR suspended him for an alleged domestic assault on his ex-girlfriend. He was suspended two days before the season-opening Daytona 500, and lost two rounds of appeals the day before the race.

The Delaware attorney general last week declined to charge Busch for the September incident with Patricia Driscoll. Also last week, NASCAR said Busch was following a path to reinstatement.

Prosecutors: No charges for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch

Busch is eligible to return to NASCAR racing under indefinite probation subject to additional mandatory requirements that include but are not limited to participation in a treatment program and full compliance with any judicial requirements placed upon him.

The decision to lift the suspension was made by NASCAR after Busch complied with all requirements in its reinstatement program, completed the mandatory behavioral assessment sessions; and the behavioral health care expert who conducted the sessions recommended to NASCAR that Kurt Busch be allowed to return to competition.

Busch now will undergo additional steps to address the behavior for which he was penalized.

The requirement that a driver must compete in all Championship Events of the current season to be eligible for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has been waived for the period of Kurt Busch's suspension. Assuming he returns to NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, Kurt Busch would have zero Championship points to date after missing the Daytona 500 and the two most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"As we stated last week, the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges removed a significant impediment to Kurt Busch's return to full status as a NASCAR member," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "We therefore have decided to move him to indefinite probation and waive the Chase requirement. He has fully complied with our reinstatement program during his suspension and the health care expert who conducted his evaluation recommended his immediate return.

"We have made it very clear to Kurt Busch our expectations for him moving forward, which includes participation in a treatment program and full compliance with all judicial requirements as a result of his off-track behavior."