SBD/Issue 64/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Wheels & Deals: Scott Speed Files Lawsuit Against Red Bull Racing

Scott Speed's Lawsuit Against Red Bull Racing
Claims Team Wasn't Funded At Necessary Level

NASCAR driver Scott Speed filed a $6.5M breach-of-contract lawsuit on Friday "against Red Bull Racing, the team that released" him after the '10 Sprint Cup Series season. Speed claims in the lawsuit, which was filed in North Carolina Superior Court, that RBR "did not fund the team as necessary to compete at the Cup level." The $6.5M figure "represents the salary Speed would have received" from '11-13, in addition to a $500,000 reduction for '10. Speed last week said that the "filing of the lawsuit was in hopes of being able to pay bills due next year, given that the chances of now getting a ride for 2011 are slim." Speed had "been a Red Bull athlete for more than seven years and competed in Formula One for the energy drink company" in '06-07 (SCENEDAILY.com, 12/10).

CHANGING LANES? SI.com's Tom Bowles reported Robby Gordon could leave NASCAR and join "the IndyCar ranks." Gordon's Sprint Cup program "has sponsorship for only a handful of races," and sources indicated that he "has grown weary of trying to fight a losing battle as a single-car, independent owner/driver on the circuit." Bowles noted "off-road sponsors like Monster Energy Drink are the only ones helping keep the No. 7 afloat right now, hungry for the additional exposure NASCAR's fan bases gives their product." Should the Izod IndyCar Series "continue its upward swing, there's a strong possibility the former open-wheel regular might move in that direction for 2012 and beyond" (SI.com, 12/10).

HOME IS (NOT) WHERE THE HEART IS: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin noted Tony Kanaan landing a ride in the IndyCar Series next season "won't be difficult; getting one that pays well likely will be." Fellow Brazilian driver Vitor Meira last week said that "companies in their home country don't figure to provide the level of sponsorship that Kanaan seeks." Cavin noted Kanaan's "most likely IndyCar option continues to be the team owned by fellow Brazilian Gil de Ferran, but Kanaan also has investigated Kyle Busch's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team." Meira himself last week "inadvertently tweeted" that he has signed a two-year contract to remain with A.J. Foyt Racing (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/11).

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