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Court orders NASCAR's Kurt Busch to stay away from ex-girlfriend

Court ruling regarding Kurt Busch comes 6 days before NASCAR Sprint Cup Season opens with the Daytona 500

A family court commissioner in Delaware ordered NASCAR driver Kurt Busch to stay away from ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, who alleged he had assaulted her, according to media reports Monday.

Busch, 36, has denied the allegations, and his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said they would appeal the decision by commissioner David Jones in Kent County, Del.

Jones' ruling came six days before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Season opens with the Daytona 500 on Sunday. There was no immediate reaction to the ruling from NASCAR or from Busch's team, Stewart-Haas Racing.

Driscoll's allegations against Busch, a former Cup champion, also are being weighed by the Delaware attorney general's office, which has yet to decide whether to prosecute Busch.

Stewart-Haas, without providing details, recently said it has a contingency plan in place should Busch be unable to continue driving his No. 41 Chevrolet.

Jones' order, which is good for a year, stated that Busch must stay 100 yards from Driscoll except at NASCAR races where his duties might require him to be closer. He's also barred from contacting her.

It also said Busch must be evaluated for "mental health problems related to anger control and impulse control" and can't buy or possess firearms or ammunition.

Driscoll claimed the alleged assault occurred in late September inside Busch's motor home at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, and she filed a complaint several weeks later with the Dover police.

She alleged, among other things, that Busch slammed her head into a bedroom wall. Busch denied her claims and alleged that Driscoll showed up uninvited and refused to leave. The two traded allegations during four days of hearings in December and January.

Hardin, Busch's lawyer, claimed in a statement Monday that "Kurt never committed an act of family violence" and that Busch's "conduct was totally reasonable and legal under the circumstances."

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