NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, 37, has announced his engagement to model and polo player Ashley Van Metre, 24. The news comes just under a year following his messy break-up with former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, who (alleged) that he had grabbed her by the throat and slammed her head three times into the wall of his motorhome September 26, 2014 in the infield at Dover International Speedway. While the domestic abuse case was highly covered by the media, Delaware’s Attorney General did not pursue criminal charges against Busch, due to lack of evidence. However Driscoll was granted an order of protection against him in February of this year. This was just around the time that Kurt and Ashley first became a couple publicly at Daytona International Speedway, although they met at Martinsville Speedway last fall at Martinsville.
As a result of his legal problems with Driscoll, Busch became the first racecar driver suspended by NASCAR for allegations of domestic violence while the case was being investigated. As a result Stewart-Haas replaced him temporarily with by Regan Smith, who drove the No. 41 Chevrolet SS in the Daytona 500 and the next two races after that. The suspension was lifted by NASCAR head Brian France on March 11, 2015.
Busch won the Cup Series Championship in 2004, just 8 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson. He later went on to become 1 of only 23 drivers to win races in all 3 of NASCAR’s top divisions: the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series.
Van Metre is a native of Middleburg, Va. and has played polo for 13 years. She is currently represented by Wilhelmina Models, This will be the Busch’s second trip to the altar, following his marriage to Eva Bryan from 2006-11.
On the meantime, brother Kyle Busch received a penalty of 15 minutes of practice time next week at Darlington Raceway by NASCAR for failing pre-race inspection 4-times at Bristol Motor Speedway. He is among 11 Sprint Cup teams issued warnings including Matt Kenseth’s team cited for failing pre-race inspection two times plus being late to inspection., as well as Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, Travis Kvapil and Timmy Hill for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice.In addition, teams for Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin were penalized for being late to the inspection line. NASCAR’s Rule Book now states that “for every 4th warning a team receives in a season it will result in the loss of pit selection.” The warnings cannot be appealed.