Word has come down that Kurt Busch has been indefinitely suspended by NASCAR for an incident that may have occurred in Dover last season. The allegations are domestic abuse by Kurt on his then girlfriend at the time. Seeing the findings by the Delaware Family Court (Something like that so I apologize if I got the exact working incorrectly) that the incident does appear to have been domestic violence.
This is very tricky territory when it comes to actions that occurred off the track. I guess you can say this incident happened at the track, but the incident is not part of competition. The question ends up being should a driver be suspended because he committed an act of domestic violence, or any other crime (I would exclude the discussion here if it is illegal drugs in any way. The speeds of the cars and such means any use of an illegal substance is not acceptable)?
I am in no way condoning and saying that any type of violence against another person is okay. I wish that tonight I was sitting here writing about how great the Daytona races this weekend are going to be this weekend. Instead I am sitting here pondering whether or not a suspension of Kurt is the right course of action for NASCAR.
There is not too much doubt in my mind that NASCAR has had some discussions on how this is going to play out if the news from Delaware came down the way it did. NASCAR does not, and I do not blame them for this, want to get caught up in a media mess like the NLF did earlier in it’s season with the entire Ray Rice situation.
We look up to those that we follow on the field or track in this case. I see the drivers of all the series of racing that I watch as those willing to put their lives on the line each race to do something they enjoy, while at the same time bringing entertainment to those who watch. Sometimes it is not joy when our specific driver has trouble, but in the end great respect to watch all their talents. I may not be a fan of certain drivers, but they have more skill at what they do than I do, and I do respect that. Now, as we get ready for what is one of the biggest weekends of racing during the year, I am stuck in an ethics dilemma with this deal.
I have written before that I do not politics in my entertainment. I do not like when political movements or beliefs become part of a race weekend. This is whether I am watching the race on TV, or if I am at the track, or even the parking lot. This is from paint schemes to race sponsors. This is similar to that feeling. I want to watch the races and have my time to escape some of my own troubles, and to be entertained. Sunday on the pre-race show, I am sure we will be inundated with talk on Kurt Busch’s trouble.
Finally, I cannot say whether the suspension is right or wrong. Should a guy be kept from doing his job for something that did not take place on the track? I just do not know. The only thing I can think of is when Kurt’s brother Kyle Busch was caught speeding on a test drive of a passenger car going over 100 MPH. Kyle could have hurt and killed multiple people with his actions. If I recall, he received nothing more than a censure for his actions that day from NASCAR.
I also relate these things to what if in my life. I have not hit a person I am involved in a relationship with. I will say that I have wanted to. It was not my ex wife, or even my current girlfriend. It was my brother. We both lived at my mom’s house for a period of time. I had just moved back to Illinois and was sorting out my life. My brother, who is 10 years older than me, has lived there for almost 20 years. He is an alcoholic and drug addict. He has no logic left because his mind is fried. If I would have hit him on the numerous times I have wanted to, should I be suspended from my job for it? No questions about why my mom lets him continue to stay there. I simply cannot answer that question, and that is for a different day.
Sometimes I am just not sure how to view these things. One other question, would the weekend dirt track driver at the local track be suspended for something like this?
Again, I do not condone in any way shape or form what Kurt has been accused of. He has not been found guilty at this point, so he is accused, at least by my understanding at this point. I am just not sure what, if any, reactions from the sanctioning body should be.
Have a great night, enjoy the trucks tonight. Looking forward to all the races this weekend.