With the 2015 NASCAR season ready to kick off tomorrow with the Daytona 500, mercurial driver Kurt Busch finds himself on the outside looking in once again, as he has been suspended indefinitely for suspected domestic violence.
Near the end of last season, Busch's girlfriend alleged that Busch banged her head three times against the wall in his racetrack motorhome after she claims she was responding to a text the driver sent her, supposedly distraught about troubles qualifying for the September race at Dover.
Inexplicably, Patricia Driscoll, the girlfriend, waited until November to file charges against Busch, who didn't do himself any favors by alleging that Driscoll had told him she was a trained assassin at one point. Eesh.
NASCAR won't take any chances here, and with Busch's legacy of anger issues, he's going to be guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of most in the sport.
Gene Haas, who brought Busch in by backdooring his partner, Tony Stewart, is now stuck funding a team out of his pocket that most likely won't have a driver for the rest of the year. Hindsight is 20-20, but if Haas had been this all-fired about putting another team together, I'm sure Stewart would have preferred to put his buddy Ryan Newman in that car. And then SHR would have had two cars in the Chase instead of one.
And in other SHR news, Danica Patrick started the year off . . . well, I'm not sure if it was on a good foot or not. She was videoed having a mildly heated conversation with Denny Hamlin after Hamlin ran Danica off the track in qualifying not once but twice. It's an absurd little exchange with the two of them professing their friendship and support for one another while simultaneously yakking about each other's driving habits and track courtesy.
I mentioned in my post-mortem on last year's season, that I thought perhaps Danica could get a little of that hard-nosed edge from her co-drivers at SHR to help her be a little more aggressive on the track this year. Maybe that's what this is. What I would prefer would be to see her elbow someone out of the way en route to her first victory, but perhaps this is the first little step. She's under a bit of pressure in the sport. Still a good draw for casual fans, she needs to string together some impressive runs/finishes and most importantly, get that first win to validate what I and others have believed about her -- she's got the skills to compete in NASCAR, she just needs to break through that one last barrier.