(Reuters) - No criminal charges will be filed against suspended NASCAR driver Kurt Busch in a domestic abuse case involving his former girlfriend, prosecutors in Delaware said on Thursday.
Patricia Driscoll said Busch grabbed her by the neck inside his motor home at Dover International Speedway in Delaware on Sept. 26 and repeatedly slammed her head against a wall.
Bush, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion currently on an indefinite suspension by NASCAR over the incident, admits to cupping Driscoll’s cheeks but said he never hit her head.
“It is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime,” the Delaware Department of Justice said in a statement.
Busch, 36, has portrayed Driscoll, 37, as seeking revenge after he tried to end their relationship.
“I am grateful that the prosecutors in Delaware listened, carefully considered the evidence, and after a thorough investigation decided to not file criminal charges against me,” Busch said in a statement.
“As I have said from the beginning, I did not commit domestic abuse. I look forward to being back in racing as soon as possible and moving on with my life.”
Kent County Court Commissioner David Jones ruled last month in favor of Driscoll’s request for a no-contact order, saying Busch had likely physically abused Driscoll.
The ruling prompted NASCAR to suspend Busch and forced the mercurial driver known as “The Outlaw” to miss the Daytona 500, the premier event on the schedule.
He appealed the suspension on Feb. 21 - the day after the sanction was announced and the day before the Daytona 500 - but the bid was denied.
“I am disappointed that full justice was not served here,” Driscoll said in a statement. “I would urge anyone covering this case to stick to the well-established facts.”
NASCAR said Busch is “actively participating” in its program to rejoin the circuit, adding that “the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges certainly removes a significant impediment to his reinstatement.”
Regan Smith has filled in for Busch as driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet during the first two Sprint Cup races this season.
Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Susan Heavey, Bill Trott and Eric Beech