Kurt Busch loses final appeal, stays suspended indefinitely

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A final appeals officer has upheld NASCAR’s suspension of Kurt Busch.

Gulfstream President Bryan Moss made the decision Saturday night, ending Busch’s already-slim hopes of racing Sunday in the season-opening Daytona 500. He remains suspended indefinitely.

The decision means both Busch brothers are out of the “Great American Race” for the first time since 2000. Younger brother Kyle was ruled out with a right leg injury sustained in a frightening crash Saturday in the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Kurt was suspended indefinitely Friday after a Delaware judge said the 2004 champion almost surely choked and beat a former girlfriend last fall at Dover International Speedway.

A three-judge panel denied his first appeal Saturday. He had one final chance to plead his case to Moss, who is in his first year as NASCAR’S final appeals officer.

Regan Smith will replace Kurt Busch in the No. 41 Chevrolet on Sunday.