By David G. Firestone
Got a few things to cover this week, so strap in. First, in a move that shocked me, and a lot of fans, NASCAR reinstated Kurt Busch as a driver, and went so far to waive the requirement that a driver has to complete every race in the season to be eligible to race in the Chase. I’m just going to copy the report from Jayski, my go-to site:
“NASCAR announced that, effectively immediately, the indefinite suspension of Kurt Busch has been lifted. He 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. On Feb. 20, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 car, was found to be in violation of:
• Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
• Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty
The decision to lift the suspension was made by NASCAR after Kurt 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.”
I’ve stated my stance on the subject many times, but I’ll say it again, domestic violence, in all forms is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE! While Kurt isn’t going to be criminally charged for domestic abuse, it is clear that the incident did occur as accused. A Dover judge issued a no-contact order and stated that it does appear that a domestic assault did take place. NASCAR responded quickly by suspending Busch just before the Daytona 500. I gave them credit for that, but the fact that he was reinstated the second it was announced he wouldn’t be criminally charged makes it clear that NASCAR was, to some extent, caving in to fan pressure. There is no other logical reason why he was reinstated.
While NASCAR may have regulations they have to follow, neither I or The Driver Suit Blog are under those same restrictions. While Kurt might have gotten off somewhat easy from NASCAR, I will not be so compassionate. As such, this will be the last time I mention Kurt Busch by name on The Driver Suit Blog in any form in 2015. Above and beyond that, the #41 team’s paint scheme grades have all been retroactively changed to F-. Furthermore, I will no longer list the #41 in the tracker, nor will I grade anymore of the #41’s schemes. #41 will not be listed on The Paint Scheme Leaderboard, and will be ineligible for the Paint Schemies in 2015.
Now that is out of the way, I have something else that I need to discuss. I got an email asking why I didn’t do a season preview for F1. The season started on Sunday, with the Australian Grand Prix. It was a good race, though there was a very high attrition rate of cars. I’ve stated before that I don’t like doing season previews, and it dawned on me, why should I waste time doing things on my own blog that I don’t like to do? So in that spirit, I won’t be doing any more season previews, or season reviews on The Driver Suit Blog. I will do something for Memorial Day, for obvious reasons, but other than that, no more stuff I don’t want to do.
I really hated that for a decent part of January that all my Friday Features, which from here on out I will call my memorabilia articles, were focusing on news, and previews. In addition to the Tracker and the Paint Scheme Grades, which aren’t that bad, but at that point in the year, it’s insanely time consuming. I’ve had enough, and I won’t do them anymore. Only fun stuff from here on out.