With NASCAR just weeks away from the start of its 2015 season, one of the sport’s top drivers is in national headlines over a domestic abuse issue in which he has claimed his ex-girlfriend is a “trained assassin.”
Kurt Busch said Patricia Driscoll, his former girlfriend, once returned to him in a blood-spattered gown after a covert mission.
His comments about Driscoll came earlier this week in a Dover, Del., courtroom during a hearing for a no-contact order filed by Driscoll, 37, against Busch, 36. Last fall, Driscoll accused Busch of domestic assault at his motor home at Dover International Speedway. No charges have been filed against Busch, who has denied the allegations.
Wednesday, Driscoll, the owner of a military defense systems company, said Busch based his description of her on a fictional movie script she has been developing for several years.
“These statements made about me being a trained assassin – hired killer – are ludicrous and without basis and are an attempt to destroy my credibility,” Driscoll told the Associated Press late Tuesday. “I find it interesting that some of the outlandish claims come straight from a fictional movie script I’ve been working on for several years.”
“Everybody on the outside can tell me I’m crazy, but I lived on the inside and saw it first hand,” Busch said when questioned this week, according to the Associated Press.
According to news reports, Busch testified that Driscoll left one night in camouflage gear when they were in El Paso, Texas. He said she returned later that night wearing an evening gown splattered with blood and other matter under a trench coat.
Busch testified he wouldn’t fare well in a physical confrontation with Driscoll.
“I knew she could take me down at any minute because she’s a bad ass,” Busch said in response to a question by his attorney Rusty Hardin.
Busch’s race team said they are watching the case.
“We continue to closely monitor the situation involving Kurt Busch,” Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer said Wednesday. “The allegations made against Kurt are serious and we do not take them lightly. We are relying on the authorities in Delaware and their collective experience to identify all the facts. They are the experts in these matters and their decision, specifically the one that will be made by the Attorney General, will determine our course of action.”
Busch has had several run-ins during his career with NASCAR, drivers and the media, although for the most part his issues have been unrelated to his performance on the race track.
He was suspended for the final two races of the season in 2005 by then-team owner Jack Roush after police in Avondale, Ariz., cited him for reckless driving.
He was fined by NASCAR and released from Penske Racing after verbally abusing an ESPN reporter during an interview at the 2011 season finale at Homestead, Fla.
In 2012, while still searching for a full-time ride with a top-level team in the Cup series, Busch was suspended for one race for verbally abusing a reporter following a race at Dover.
Gene Haas, co-owner of Kannapolis-based Stewart-Haas Racing, announced in late 2013 he was adding a fourth team to his organization funded by his own company, Haas Automation. He chose Busch, who won the Sprint Cup championship in 2004, as his driver.
In the team’s first season in 2014, Busch won one race, at Martinsville, Va., and qualified for the Chase but was among the first four drivers eliminated from title contention in the 10-race playoff.
Driscoll grew up in El Paso, where she played sports and also was a ballet dancer. In a 2012 interview with the Skirts & Scuffs racing website, she said her grandfather was a spy and Army Air Corps aviator.
“He did all kinds of missions throughout the world and disappeared a lot,” Driscoll said. “He was a really neat guy, always telling fascinating stories and I think that growing up as a kid it was something that very much interested me so I started my defense company, which has provided a lot of solutions to the government on different aspects that I can’t talk about.”
Driscoll owns Frontline Defense Systems, which, according to its website, is “a customized services company specifically designed to support the U.S. government and commercial companies engaged in the global war on terror.” Driscoll’s bio on the website says that she “spent the majority of her career in the narcotics and intelligence world.”
A YouTube video titled “Pocket Commando,” shows Driscoll at a firing range and quotes her saying, “There’s a lot of sensitive things I work on ... most of them you’re never going to see.” The video talks about her company’s work with the military and how she runs it. “I have the reputation for not being the nicest person in the world, and I’ve earned it.”
Driscoll is also president of the Armed Force Foundation, a nonprofit veterans advocacy organization that partners with NASCAR. The foundation cut ties with Busch, who had been working with Driscoll and the AFF before last fall’s Dover race, after the alleged incident.
Driscoll said in court that Busch assaulted her in his motor home at the Dover track, grabbing her by the throat and slamming her head into a wall three times, according to newspaper reports. The allegations are part of a separate criminal investigation.
She said then in court that Busch had been “drinking heavily and was struggling with depression,” reports said.
According to the Associated Press, Richard Andrew Sniffen, a Christian music minister who is friends with Driscoll and Busch, said Driscoll told him the night of the alleged assault only that Busch had pushed her and she hit her head. Sniffen said Driscoll never said she was afraid of Busch and seemed intent on reconciling.
Sniffen said Driscoll’s attitude changed in the weeks that followed.
“I will destroy him,” Sniffen said Driscoll told him.
A ruling on the no-contact request is expected later this month or in early February.
On Jan. 6, the Dover Police Department announced it had completed its investigation into the assault allegations and forwarded the results to the Delaware Attorney General’s office. Dover police spokesman Cpl. Mark Hoffman said the attorney general’s office would decide whether to charge Busch.
As of Wednesday, the attorney general’s office said no decision has been made and the office was not operating under any timetable.
In November, NASCAR chairman Brian France said the sanctioning body planned to wait until authorities had completed their investigation and decided whether to charge Busch before it took any action.
“We are watching that case carefully. It’s under review by law enforcement and others, and they have not made a decision on that regarding Kurt,” France said at the time.
The Associated Press contributed.