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Who is Kurt Busch’s first wife Eva Bryan? Racer divorcing for second time

Bruno Cooke May 18, 2022
Who is Kurt Busch’s first wife Eva Bryan? Racer divorcing for second time
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR

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Ashley Van Metre, the second wife of American race car driver Kurt Busch, has filed for divorce – but who is Busch’s first wife, Eva Bryan, and when were they married?

When did Kurt Busch marry first wife Eva Bryan and how long were they together?

Kurt and Eva met on a blind date, according to Bleacher Report. She was told he was a veterinarian – Busch’s spotter set them up.

“She probably wouldn’t have come to meet a redneck racer,” Busch once said, per Sporting News.

However, the “ruse” quickly gave way when Eva Bryan saw Kurt Busch’s face pop up on the restaurant’s television screen. He had come in second at Pocono the weekend before. The truth was out.

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Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

That was on 27 July 2004. They got engaged exactly a year later – Kurt “whisked Eva to Prague to pop the question”, the Virginian-Pilot later wrote.

They married one more year after that, on 27 July 2006, in Eastville, Virginia. Their marriage lasted five years, until 2011; they didn’t have kids.

What did she do before meeting Kurt?

Born 26 April 1977, Eva is currently 45 years old.  Before she met Kurt Busch, BR writes, Eva Bryan worked at First Virginia Bank. She’d graduated from Old Dominion University in Albemarle County, Virginia, and lived in Virginia Beach.

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Photo by Christian Grattan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

In 2010, when Bleacher Report wrote its “behind the scenes” article on Eva Busch, she was vice-president of husband Kurt’s racing company. She’d also taken on a “low-key role” in multiple charities, including the Kurt Busch Foundation.

“Kurt is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life,” the Virginian-Pilot quotes Eva’s father, Gary Bryan, as saying ahead of her marriage to Busch. “He gets a bad rap, I’ll tell you right now.”

Kurt Busch’s divorce from first wife Eva Bryan was ‘kept quiet’ by NASCAR media corps

On 28 June 2011, SB Nation reported the “demise” of Kurt and Eva’s marriage went unaddressed by the sport’s media corps “for months”.

“When TNT cut to a shot of Kurt Busch during the national anthem on Sunday, he was standing with a beautiful blonde woman who was not his wife.”

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The shot “lit up Twitter and Facebook” but those in the garage, and the media, had known for a long time that Kurt and Eva were no longer together.

The woman with whom he celebrated that summer was Patricia Driscoll, from Texas. Four years later, they would become embroiled in legal proceedings. Kurt Busch testified in court in January 2015 that his then-ex-girlfriend was “an assassin” – per NPR.

Busch’s second wife, Ashley Van Metre, filed for divorce on 9 May 2022 in Florida, Fox4 reports.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.