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NASCAR Announcer

Steve Byrnes Dies of Cancer

Days After Tribute

4/21/2015 12:26 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0421-steve-byrnes-twitter-02FOX Sports announcer Steve Byrnes died Tuesday of cancer ... just 2 days after NASCAR fans, drivers and crew members paid him an emotional track side tribute.

Byrnes -- one of FOX's leading reporters for its NASCAR coverage -- was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in August of 2013. He was forced to take an indefinite leave from the job last year in October.

FOX and NASCAR teamed with Stand Up to Cancer to dedicate Sunday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway to Steve. Before the race people in the stands ... and crew members on pit road held up signs with Steve's name.

Steve watched the race on TV, and afterward tweeted his thanks for the show of love and support.

Byrnes is survived by his wife Karen and their 12-year-old son Bryson. He was 56.

Jeff Gordon

Hey Tom Cruise ...

Bring Back Cole Trickle!

4/6/2015 3:12 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

It's been 25 years since Cole Trickle punked Russ Wheeler and took the Daytona 500 ... but according to Jeff Gordon, it's time to get his ass back on the track ... in a "Days of Thunder" sequel!

FYI -- after the movie came out in 1990, there were rumors that Cole was loosely based on Gordon (even though it was really based on the late NASCAR driver Tim Richmond). 

So, when we saw Gordon out in D.C. today -- we had to ask how he felt about a possible remake ... and JG was all about it. 

Unfortunately, there aren't any plans for a "Part 2" yet ... but Cruise is reportedly signed on to star in another racing movie called "Go Like Hell."

It's no Cole Trickle ... but there are rumors Brad Pitt could co-star in the flick. So, that should get your engines going. 

NASCAR's Joey Logano

Cruisin' L.A. in Batmobile

... With Jeff Dunham

3/17/2015 4:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0317-MAIN-joey-logano-car-TWITTER-01"Chicks love the car"
               -- Batman (1995)

NASCAR superstar Joey Logano was channeling his inner-Bruce Wayne out in Los Angeles Tuesday -- cruising around the City of Angels in a Batmobile. 

And not just any Batmobile ... the good one from the Michael Keaton era. 

0317-joey-logano-car-sub-TWITTER-01

Turns out, Logano was hangin' with Vegas mega-comic Jeff Dunham (the ventriloquist) ... who owns the car and wanted to take Joey out for a spin.

But like any other whip, the Batmobile requires gas ... so they stopped at a Shell station and filled up ... 91 of course. 

So, where did they go next? Tune in next time. Same Bat time. Same Bat website. 

NASCAR's Kurt Busch

No Dom. Violence Charges, No Prob

Cleared to Race Again

3/11/2015 9:44 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0311-kurt-busch-getty-01

Kurt Busch will be back on the track this weekend -- 6 days after criminal domestic violence charges were dropped ... NASCAR has reinstated the suspended driver. 

Busch toed the line following his suspension -- complying with all of NASCAR's requests, including participating in an anger management program ... according to NASCAR. 

As we previously reported, NASCAR took Busch out of his #41 car indefinitely when his ex-GF Patricia Driscoll got a restraining order against him ... based on Busch allegedly attacking her last fall after a race in Dover. Busch is appealing the restraining order.

But since then ... prosecutors decided there wasn't enough evidence to file criminal charges against Busch.

NASCAR says Busch will remain under "indefinite probation."

After the decision, Driscoll released a statement saying, "Even though Kurt remains on indefinite probation under this decision, I’m deeply concerned about the message NASCAR is sending by letting him compete for the championship after he was found by a judge to have committed an act of domestic violence.

She continued, "But I am gratified, at least, that NASCAR’s decision comes with the mandatory condition that he follow through on the treatment he so clearly needs."

Busch has also released a statement on the decision, "The important factor is that what I was accused of was a complete fabrication, and I never wavered through this whole process because of the confidence in the truth."

Kurt Busch

No Criminal Charges

In Domestic Violence Case [Update]

3/5/2015 7:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0307-kurt-busch-getty-01

update_graphic_red_bar

10:47 AM PT -- Busch's ex-GF also issued a statement saying she's "disappointed that full justice was not served here."

10:30 AM PT -- Busch just issued a statement saying, "I am grateful that the prosecutors in Delaware listened, carefully considered the evidence, and after a thorough investigation decided to not file criminal charges against me."

He continued, "As I have said from the beginning, I did not commit domestic abuse. I look forward to being back in racing as soon as possible and moving on with my life."

update-grey-gray-barProsecutors have decided they will NOT pursue criminal charges against NASCAR driver Kurt Busch over an alleged domestic violence incident ... claiming there's just not enough proof. 

Busch was accused of slamming his ex-GF's head against the wall of his trailer during an altercation in Dover, Delaware back in September. 

But a rep for the Delaware Attorney General's Office says ... after a thorough investigation, "the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime."

"For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case."

NASCAR Heist

Race Car Thieves Caught On Camera

2/27/2015 1:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

022715_nascar_launch_v2NASCAR driver Travis Kvapil's #44 ride was jacked from a hotel parking lot -- and TMZ Sports obtained surveillance video of the heist.

The car and the truck that hauls it were both stolen out of the Drury Inn parking lot outside Atlanta -- and in the video you can see a Jeep SUV pull into the lot. One person dressed in black gets out of the Jeep, walks across the lot toward the transport trailer ... and the Jeep pulls away.

Next thing you see is the white transport trailer ... hauled by a black pickup truck ... tearing across the lot. Law enforcement sources tell us the GTA went down around 5 AM Friday -- and took less than a minute. So far cops have no leads on the suspects, but they're hoping this video will shed some light.

Kvapil's team was forced to pull out of this weekend's Sprint Cup race in Atlanta. It's a small independent team, and they don't have a backup car.

Team owner John Cohen tells TMZ Sports ... "Last night I was thinking, I should tell them to block the truck off [with another vehicle]. But I didn't say anything, and it got stolen." He says he doesn't think the crooks even knew what they were stealing since there are no identifying marks on the trailer.

He adds ... "I'm hoping they return it once they see what's inside. What can they do with a racecar?"

A Sprint Cup series car is worth about $250,000.

0227-nascar-stolen-car-SUB-01

'Daytona' Champ Joey Logano

Loses Wedding Ring

... Recovers Perfectly

2/25/2015 6:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

022415_joey_logano_launchWhat do you do when you lose your wedding ring?

Freak out? Secretly try to get a new one made? Hell, there have been countless articles dedicated to this exact problem. 

But if you're NASCAR superstar Joey Logano -- who just won the Daytona 500 -- you stay calm, don't panic ... and fix the problem. 

Joey was out in NYC yesterday when he admitted he had to deal with a missing ring problem earlier in his marriage. 

So why didn't he freak out? Check out the clip ... 

Danica Patrick

I'm Not Loose!

[TMZ TV]

2/20/2015 6:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ TV

022015_tv_tune_in_danica_patrick_launch_v2Danica Patrick was looking to brawl with fellow NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin after they wrecked at Daytona -- grabbing him and yelling, "Don't be up my ass!"

Taken out of context ... this could be the sexiest fight ever -- but who would do that?tmz-on-tv-3

Kurt Busch

Too Much to Lose in GF Assault Case

Judge Thinks He'd Lie in Court

2/20/2015 2:25 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0220_kurt-busch_patricia-driscoll_gettyupdate_graphic_red_bar2:55 PM PT -- NASCAR just suspended Busch indefinitely. update_grey_gray_barNASCAR star Kurt Busch sounded like he rehearsed all his answers, and may even have lied under oath when he testified in his domestic violence case ... according to the judge.

As we reported ... Busch's ex-gf Patricia Driscoll got a restraining order last week, and in new docs, obtained by TMZ Sports, the judge explains why he ruled against Busch.

According to the docs ... Busch came off like he had practiced reciting his version of what happened during the alleged incident last September ... in a very specific order. Anytime he was asked to break from that "memorized" order of events ... he got flustered.

The judge said "an honest witness" should be remember the truth in any sequence.

Further, the judge feels Busch "has so much to lose" -- his NASCAR career and endorsements -- he has "powerful incentive" to lie on the stand.

Busch's attorney is appealing the restraining order -- but clearly the judge has trust issues when it comes to his side of the story.  

Danica Patrick

Gets Physical with Denny Hamlin

'Don't Be Up My Ass'

2/20/2015 7:54 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

022015_danica_patrick_launch_v2

Danica Patrick showed quick hands in a post-crash confrontation with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin Thursday night at Daytona ... getting up in his face after he allegedly spun her out.

Patrick was FIRED UP after losing control of her car ... and immediately got up in Hamlin's face to accuse him of tapping her left rear ... and causing her ride to spin out in the first place.

The clash was intense -- with Danica grabbing Denny by the chest ... and Denny trying to explain that it wasn't intentional.

At one point, Denny tried to explain that he's her friend -- and no one has her back like he does -- but Danica doesn't let him off the hook.

Question is ... if the roles were reversed and Denny grabbed Danica ... ya gotta think Denny would be in a world of trouble this morning.

There's clearly a double standard. Everybody okay with that?

Kurt Busch

Restraining Order Is B.S.

... I Plan to Appeal

2/16/2015 11:42 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0216-kurt-busch-getty-01Kurt Busch says he plans to appeal the restraining order a Delaware court entered against him which requires the NASCAR driver to stay away from ex-GF Patricia Driscoll ... claiming she straight up lied to the court. 

A Kent County Family Court Commissioner made the ruling Monday ... requiring Busch to stay at least 100 yards away from Driscoll's home and workplace after he allegedly roughed her up during an alleged altercation in a trailer at Dover International Speedway back in September. 

The commish also ordered Busch to be evaluated for mental health problems. 

In a statement, Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin tells TMZ Sports ..."We are deeply disappointed because we believe the evidence of Ms. Driscoll’s total lack of believability was overwhelming."

Hardin says, "We know that Kurt never committed an act of family violence. The evidence was un-contradicted that Ms. Driscoll committed the criminal offense of trespass when she entered his motor home at night, while he was sleeping, uninvited, without permission, and refused to leave when he repeatedly asked her to get out."

FYI -- Driscoll claims Busch grabbed her by the neck and smashed her head against the motor home several times.  

Hardin acknowledges there was a physical confrontation ... but says Kurt NEVER slammed her head. "Mr. Busch’s conduct was totally reasonable and legal under the circumstances. He never intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused her any injury."

"We intend to appeal the Commissioner’s ruling."

Hardin continues, "Ms. Driscoll clearly committed perjury during her testimony before the Commissioner, and we deeply regret that Ms. Driscoll has been allowed to abuse the justice system in such a flagrant way."

Kurt Busch

I Can't Terrorize My Ex-GF

She's a Trained Assassin

12/16/2014 4:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend is in court to get a restraining order against him -- but the NASCAR driver is fighting back with what he says is proof she's a certified badass who couldn't possibly be afraid of him.

Patricia Driscoll testified in a Dover, Delaware court Tuesday about Kurt's alleged attack on her after one of his races in September. As we've reported ... Driscoll claims he choked her inside his motorcoach.

But sources close to Busch tell TMZ Sports his legal team has submitted a YouTube video of Driscoll as evidence. The video entitled "Pocket Commando" -- was posted earlier this year, and shows her at a gun range, showing off marksman skills and talking about the company she owns ... Frontline Defense Systems. 

Driscoll calls herself a "commando mommy" on the video ... which we're told was shot and edited to pitch her as a reality TV star.

We're told Busch's attorneys will argue that Driscoll is a "trained assassin" who would have no reason to fear Busch. In fact, during Tuesday's hearing Busch's attorneys called her a "mercenary" out to ruin his career. Busch adamantly denies the attack. 

It's likely the video will be played in court on Wednesday.

Kurt Busch

I Did NOT Choke My Ex-GF

11/7/2014 12:46 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1107-kurt-busch-patricia-driscoll-getty-01Kurt Busch is adamant he did not lay a single finger on his ex-girlfriend during an argument back in September ... claiming she's making the whole thing up in a shameless cash grab ... sources close to Busch tell TMZ Sports.  

As we previously reported, the NASCAR driver is being investigated for an alleged domestic assault on his ex Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway on the weekend of Sept. 26th. 

Sources close to Busch tell us ... the couple had broken up about a week before the incident -- and Busch was surprised when she showed up to his motorhome. 

We're told ... Busch acknowledges they got into an argument -- but claims it never got physical. 

Sources tell us ... Driscoll has told authorities Busch choked her inside the motorhome. 

TMZ Sports spoke with Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin who tells us, "This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect."

He adds, "The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr. Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light."

And there's this -- we're told ... days after the incident, Busch's lawyer was contacted by a person claiming to represent Driscoll looking to negotiate a monetary settlement. 

We're told that attorney resigned from representing Driscoll just days later. 

We also spoke with police who tell us Driscoll didn't report the alleged assault until Nov. 5th -- six weeks after the incident. 

Attempts to contact Driscoll have been unsuccessful.

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