DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WJZ) — Another sports star at the top of his game is suspended over domestic abuse accusations. NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is pulled off the track right before the Daytona 500 after a judge says he likely choked and beat his ex-girlfriend.

Christie Ileto explains the decision came late Friday evening.

The couple once lived in Ellicott City. Earlier this week, a judge ordered Busch to stay away from his ex-girlfriend. Now he is the very first driver suspended from NASCAR amid domestic violence allegations.

It will be a while before we hear NASCAR driver Kurt Busch’s name on the race track again.

A federal judge says in a 25 page report that Busch manually strangled and smashed the head of his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, while inside his motor home at Dover International Speedway last September.

“NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR vice president.

The series’ Friday night announcement makes this Busch’s third career suspension, parking him on the eve of NASCAR’s Super Bowl–the Daytona 500–this weekend.

It’s a race he was scheduled to drive in after recently qualifying.

Busch has denied the alleged assault–now a focal point of a separate criminal case.

It’s bad behavior Maryland sports fans have seen before.

After the fallout from the Ray Rice scandal last year, professional athletes are really coming under scrutiny when it comes to domestic violence, crushing a stigma that sports stars are above the law.

Ads filled the airwaves after the knockout punch caught on tape forced the then-Ravens running back off the field and out of a job.

“Any actions of abuse will not be tolerated in the industry,” O’Donnell said.

NASCAR brings down the hammer, too. Domestic violence won’t be tolerated, sidelining Busch until further notice.

NASCAR says Busch can appeal this decision. It’s unclear if or when he’ll do that.

Busch races for Stewart-Haas Racing Team. It’s unclear who will replace him in Sunday’s race.

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