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Ex: Kurt Busch seemed in distress

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend believed the NASCAR driver was in emotional distress when she drove to a Delaware racetrack to visit him, even though they had broken up earlier that week, an attorney for Patricia Driscoll said Saturday.

Driscoll has accused Busch of domestic assault, and police in Delaware said Friday they are investigating an incident that allegedly occurred inside Busch's motorhome at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 26. Driscoll has filed court documents asking a judge to order Busch to stay away from her and not contact her, and she claims Busch verbally and physically abused her and smashed her head against a wall three times.

"He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself," the documents say.

Mark Dycio, Driscoll's Virginia-based attorney, said Saturday that Driscoll traveled to Dover because she was worried about Busch's well-being after receiving concerning text messages from the driver.

"There had been communication and she believed it was a cry for help, so she responded," Dycio told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Driscoll had her son, Houston, with her when she arrived at Busch's motorhome. Dycio said his presence, coupled with an ongoing custody battle with her ex-husband, led Driscoll to wait nearly six weeks to file the domestic assault claim.

"She wanted to go to police from the beginning, but there were several factors that she had to first thoroughly consider," Dycio said. "Her custody battle has claims that Kurt Busch referred to her son as his 'adopted son' and as his 'surrogate stepson' and this was a critical issue in the custody battle. Now this central figure in her custody case has committed an act against her when her son was present.

"And lastly, she had genuine concern for Kurt Busch and his emotional state and it was her desire that he receive help for any anger issues and emotional issues that he may have. That was her hope."

An attorney for Busch, the 2004 NASCAR champion, has denied the accusation.

"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," attorney Rusty Hardin said Friday in an emailed statement.

Dycio said Driscoll has text messages, photographs and people with knowledge of the situation who can support her claims.

"There is evidence she will be able to provide to support her statements," he said. "It is evidence that will sustain the scrutiny of the judicial system."

Her attorney also disputed the notion that Driscoll was after Busch's money. He also denied a report by TMZ that an attorney for Driscoll contacted Busch in an attempt to negotiate a financial settlement before she filed her claim.

"This notion that she is a scorned woman asking for money, none of that holds true," said Dycio, who added he's the only attorney to represent Driscoll in the matter and he never contacted anyone connected to Busch asking for a financial settlement.

Driscoll, in addition to her job as a defense contractor in Washington, D.C., is head of the Armed Forces Foundation.

"She has nothing to gain by all of this negative publicity," Dycio said. "She is a successful woman, she has her own money, a lovely home, an excellent job. She is not out to crucify Kurt Busch. If there are anger issues, she wants him to deal with them."