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Kurt Busch says he’s ending his marriage

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DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (AP) - Former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch said Thursday he is legally separated from his wife and in the process of formally ending his marriage.

"Those in the NASCAR community have been aware for some time now that we are no longer together and we are legally separated," Busch read from prepared remarks. "While we go through this process, it has been tough. The upcoming weeks we'll work at formally terminating our marriage. We do so with the most respect for one another and we'll always be friends."

Busch married Eva Bryan in 2006, three years to the day of them meeting on a blind date. She has not been seen this season at the track, where wives and girlfriends have a heavy presence on pit road and atop the pit boxes during races.

But Busch was not asked about his marital status until Thursday, four days after he kissed another woman in Victory Lane last week at Sonoma.

He said his personal life has not affected his racing.

"There are things going on on the personal level, there are things personally going on with the team that's been well documented. Like I say, performance on track is always the best antidote for putting all of that aside," Busch said. "I think the way we've handled the situation of this sport, we're really good at respecting one another, and I'm happy that I'm an athlete in a sport that really cares about writing about our sport vs. writing about our personal lives.

"The other sports get into professionals' lives in a very personal way and I'm glad I'm in the NASCAR world to work with you guys to respect that as well. It's tough. We're an entity, but I'm also a person."

Busch's win last week was his first of the season, and he goes into Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway ranked fourth in the Sprint Cup standings. He had an ugly rant on his team radio in early May, and the performance for Penske Racing has picked up since the meeting that followed the incident.

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