SBD/December 16, 2010/Marketing and Sponsorship

Scott Speed Provides Detail About Suit Against Red Bull Racing

Speed Earlier In '10 Signed Three-Year Extension With RBR

NASCAR driver Scott Speed yesterday indicated that he is "shocked and ill he was put in the position of having to file a $6.5 million lawsuit against Red Bull Racing, the organization that gave him his shot in motorsports," according to David Newton of ESPN.com. Speed filed the suit last week, "about two weeks after Speed received a termination letter from the Sprint Cup organization and about seven months after Speed says the team agreed to a three-year extension" through '13. Speed yesterday said, "They can't say 'We'll give you three more years' and then at the end of the season say 'Just kidding.' They think they have a way of getting out of my contract. I think they're crazy." Red Bull Racing officials contend that "prior to Speed's release there was a provision in the contract that allowed for dismissal if the driver wasn't in the top 16 in points." Speed, who finished 30th, said that "isn't '100 percent the truth' and that proof will come out later in the process." In addition, Speed claims that RBR "did not provide sufficient funding for him to compete at a level necessary to be in the top 16," citing team layoffs before the season and "other financial cutbacks." Speed was "most upset that the organization would not give him permission to talk to other teams when it was obvious he wouldn't return to the Cup car." He said, "They simply kept me with a sock in my mouth and hands tied behind my back until after the last race. With the relationship I had with Red Bull, I can't tell you how surprised I am. I am shocked" (ESPN.com, 12/15).

FOUR-POINT TURN: Red Bull Racing GM & VP Jay Frye indicated that new driver Kasey Kahne "will compete with the No. 4 in 2011, a nod to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver’s number in Sprint cars." Teams "do not own the car numbers with which they race, but are awarded specific numbers, typically upon request, by NASCAR." Frye said that "because Kahne will only be with the team for one year, it would be easy to make a 'clean break' the following year and resume use of either the 82 or 84 numbers the team has previously used" (SCENEDAILY.com, 12/15).

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