Reporter Notebook: Local fans react strongly to Kurt Busch suspension

Reporter Notebook: Local fans react strongly to Kurt Busch suspension

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In what is the biggest response I've ever gotten to a Facebook inquiry, more than 120 people weighed in within just a few hours to comment on the Kurt Busch suspension from NASCAR.

Busch drove for Stewart-Haas Racing, based in Kannapolis. His car had been the #41 Chevrolet, but on Friday afternoon Chevrolet ended its association with the driver.

I think it's interesting to note that Travis Kvapil, who finished 15th in Friday night's Truck Series race, was arrested and charged with assault of his wife in 2013. NASCAR took no action against Kvapil. In January of 2014 Kvapil pleaded guilty and received two years probation from the court.

I took the question to Facebook, asking for opinions about the suspension, and whether or not it mattered that Busch has not been convicted of any crime.

Despite all the criticism and obvious shortcomings that exist in social media, it also has the ability to create an open forum for anyone to express an opinion.

First, I'll point out that Busch was suspended indefinitely from NASCAR on Friday just days before the biggest and most prestigious race of the season. A Delaware judge ruled that Busch pushed the head of ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll against the wall of his motor home on September 26 at Dover, and the judge also concluded that Busch was capable of committing acts of domestic violence.

Secondly, Busch appealed the suspension on Saturday, but the panel ruled to uphold the suspension.

The suspension has drawn sharp reaction from fans and other interested parties. In response to my question, here are highlights of a few of the responses:

" I am not a fan but whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? " Beth Hunter Lasater wrote. "I think it was wrong for NASCAR to suspend him especially when another driver admitted guilt for domestic abuse and was not suspended."

Melissa Farr wrote "He has a history of a bad temper he should have been required to step away from racing until he goes through some domestic violence classes and go thru some training for his temper, then return."

Alice Christenbury wrote "Slippery Slope as the saying goes. Seems sports figures and athletes may have to remain removed from any kind of relationship due to the possibility of being sued or career being damaged due to allegations."

"Kurt Busch was sent to the executioner before he was sent to the jury," Jeremy Gardner wrote. "Didn't realize that the Delaware judge operated outside of American jurisdiction. Domestic violence is no joke, and Busch should be penalized, but only when proven guilty."

" I think both the judge and NASCAR are wrong," wrote Fredda Greer. "The judge should have kept his thoughts to himself. NASCAR should have waited for the outcome before suspending him."

"The suspension is not a "guilty" assumption. It should have occurred before now. To wait until just before the Daytona race has NASCAR drama written all over it," wrote Greg Faggart.

"Showing up at ex- boyfriend's place unannounced is recipe for trouble," wrote Leslie Sexton. "Cupping [his] hands to her face and quietly saying 'leave'" is unbelievable. NASCAR should be able to do to Busch what NFL did to Hardy--and it did. Both NASCAR and NFL are businesses & not courts of law."

There are at least one hundred more comments, and I have to say, most all of the responses showed some serious reflection on the question.

If you'd like to see the original post and the comments, and add one of your own, visit my Facebook page here:

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