NASCAR, drivers react after driver charged with assaulting wife
MOORESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - NASCAR officials have released a statement after a Sprint Cup driver was charged with assaulting his wife following an argument at the couple's Mooresville home.
According to the Mooresville Police Department, officers were called to the home of Travis Wade Kvapil, 37, on Tuesday evening after getting a 911 call.
Officers say Kvapil, who is currently the driver of the #93 car in the Sprint Cup Series, and his wife had been involved in a domestic dispute.
Kvapil was arrested and charged with assault on a female and false imprisonment.
According to court records, Kvapil pulled his wife by the hair into a bedroom at their home, then hit her in the head when she resisted.
Kvapil was released from the Iredell County Jail under a $2,000 unsecured bond after a scheduled court appearance. It's not known if he has an attorney.
"NASCAR does not condone the actions with which Travis Kvapil has been charged and we are disappointed to learn of this incident," officials released in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
"We have been in close communication with the race team and are in the process of gathering as much information as possible," officials continued. "NASCAR takes this matter very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation as it moves forward."
Kvapil drives for BK Racing, who also has driver David Reutimann. He is currently 31st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.
On Thursday afternoon, BK Racing released a statement saying it would stand with its driver and that Kvapil would be behind the wheel of the #93.
"BK Racing understands the severity of the situation and we don't condone the actions that Travis has been accused of," team co-owner Ron Devine said.
"We feel it's important to let the system take its course. For that reason, we have elected to support Travis and his family and keep Travis in the car for this weekend's race. Further comment will be available as additional information becomes available."
"I don't think anybody knows all the details yet," said NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick. "So it would be hard for me to comment exactly on what did or didn't happen."
"Shocked, when I heard about it, it's not good for our sport for sure," five time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson said on Thursday afternoon. "I think most realize that's an individual situation and nothing to do with the team or the sponsor."
BK Racing posted a photo of Kvapil and Reutimann's race cars on Twitter around 1 p.m. on Wednesday showing both cars with ribbons supporting Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness.
That photo was pulled from Twitter after news of Kvapil's arrest broke.
But fallout over the arrest goes much deeper and has one Gaston County mother furious.
"It's not only a slap in the face to my daughter, but to every victim of domestic violence," said Tammy Wright of Bessemer City. "I'm disgusted. I think it's a disgrace."
Strong words but Tammy says that's how she felt after a call from BK Racing Thursday morning. A company spokesperson told her they had removed the purple ribbon bearing her daughter's name on Travis Kvapil's car after police charged the NASCAR driver with domestic violence.
"I don't know whether Travis is guilty or not -- that's not for me to say but why pull that ribbon," she questioned. "This is your perfect opportunity."
An opportunity to raise awareness about an issue that has torn Wright's family apart. Her daughter Brittany died at the hands of her husband in 2008. He then killed himself, and it was Wright that found their bodies.
Now, some five years later, she was honored to see her daughter had not been forgotten.
"I was thrilled that NASCAR wanted to take a stand because I was thrilled to see men stand up and say this is wrong, this is enough," said Wright. "But to me personally pulling that ribbon, you're saying to me, your daughter was worthless. She did not matter."
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