Gene Haas said Sunday he never wavered in his support of Kurt Busch in the aftermath of the controversy over whether Busch assaulted ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway in September. "I always believed Kurt," Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Haas told ESPN.com at the track Sunday morning. "I still believe him today."
NASCAR suspended Busch two days prior to the Daytona 500 after a Delaware family court commissioner determined that Busch likely committed an act of domestic violence against Driscoll on Sept. 26. Haas said his primary frustration over his driver's NASCAR suspension was the timing of the legal decisions. "When he got pulled out at Daytona, that was pretty devastating.
That was very upsetting," Haas said. "NASCAR was very up-front with us. They told us everything that was happening. I think they had to react. The upsetting part is that we just had no control over those things. We had no control over NASCAR, over the media, over the court systems. We were just adrift in a boat going down a rapid river, and we just had no idea what was going to happen."
Haas said he never got to the point of having to decide whether to shut down the #41 car that he sponsors through his company Haas Automation Inc. Regan Smith drove the car for the first three races of 2015. "I was always optimistic that things would work out, so I don't think I ever got to that point," Haas said. "Six months down the road, I probably would have had a different opinion. … Things have kind of worked a little bit in our favor [now] even though they didn't work in our favor [initially]."
While suspended, Busch and Haas remained in contact. "We talked every few days just to see what was happening," Haas said. "We were all kind of waiting for something to occur so you can react to it. Kurt was always adamant that he was going to be cleared. He never varied on that. I believed him. He never said anything different from the first day all this occurred." ESPN.com