Travis Kvapil's driving duties will be unchanged after his Tuesday evening arrest. BK Racing says that it's standing by its driver after he was arrested and charged with assault and false imprisonment.
“After discussions with NASCAR and the Kvapil family, BK Racing has elected to support Travis and his family,” co-owner Ron Devine told FOX Sports on Thursday. “It’s the right thing for Travis and his family to let the system take its course.
“He has the ability to set aside the issues and focus, and he’s prepared to race this weekend.”
The arrest and charges from the domestic dispute came after Mooresville police responded to a 911 call from Kvapil's residence. According to police and court records via the Sporting News, Kvapil "allegedly pulled his wife into a bedroom by her hair and struck her in the head as she tried to pull away." The charges are misdemeanors, and neither party was under the influence of alcohol.
A court date regarding the charges has been set for November 19. NASCAR released a statement Thursday:
"NASCAR does not condone the actions with which Travis Kvapil has been charged and we are disappointed to learn of this incident. We have been in close communication with the race team and are in the process of gathering as much information as possible," the sanctioning body said in a statement. "NASCAR takes this matter very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation as it moves forward."
So, yes. Go forth and race, Kvapil.
However, it must be said again, this is the sanctioning body that suspended Jeremy Clements two races for saying a racial slur at Daytona, as it violated NASCAR's code of conduct. Does this matter not violate the code of conduct?
Per those discussions that Devine referenced above, NASCAR and BK Racing must know something that we do not via the information available and the charges to allow Kvapil to race this weekend. That's the only explanation, as this was deemed a serious enough incident and there was enough information for charges to be filed.
Mike Harmon wasn't suspended when he was charged in the saga of Jennifer Jo Cobb's hauler, so there is a NASCAR precedent that's already been set this year. However, it's fair to say that the situations that Harmon and Kvapil were in are quite different. A hauler is not a person, and there's enough finger pointing with the hauler drama to make your head spin.
The right decision, given the code of conduct that NASCAR has referenced both in the Clements and Nelson Piquet situations, is to have Kvapil on the sidelines for the remainder of the season, or until the situation is resolved, whichever comes first. A domestic dispute like this is much more serious than a slur or a stolen hauler -- the charges prove that.