Another Lawsuit For NASCAR
February 20, 2002 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Now, a group of minority shareholders in Speedway Motorsports Inc. has filed suit against NASCAR, several sources are reporting.
SMI officials were asked to join the suit, but they took a neutral stance on it. SMI is also a “nominal defendant” – along with the International Speedway Corp. - which is how SMI was made aware of the suit.
“The general public needs to understand it’s not Speedway Motorsports filing the suit,” SMI spokesman Jerry Gappens told RacingOne. “It’s a minority shareholder who happens to be in Texas. At this time, (SMI officials) feel there’s nothing to add to it at this point. It’s not really our place to say anything.”
SMI owns Texas Motor Speedway, a track that holds one Winston Cup race a year. The lawsuit reportedly claims NASCAR broke a promise – verbally, not written - to grant Texas a second race and was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Sherman, Texas.
Texas Motor Speedway officials have clamored for a second Winston Cup date even before the 1.5-mile track north of Fort Worth, Texas was finished. The suit claims the second date NASCAR promised went to tracks owned by International Speedway Corp., a sister company to NASCAR.
The lawsuit seeks that NASCAR grant Texas a second date and pay damages to SMI for lost revenue.
Each of the five races held at Texas since 1997 have been a sellout, and Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said the same is expected for the April 7 Samsung/Radio Shack 500.
In an exclusive interview with RacingOne.com last year, Gossage said he is totally perplexed as to why the second date has never been granted.
“I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know. It’s very frustrating to us,” Gossage said. “I know it’s frustrating to our fans, but it’s also pretty insulting to our fans. Apparently they’re not as valuable as others. My answer is I don’t know the answer. Only NASCAR knows it.”