Gentlemen Start Your Lawyers

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Don't expect Jimmy Spencer and Chip Ganassi to exchange Valentine's Day cards this week.

Spencer has filed a $600,000 breach of contract suit against car owner Ganassi over his firing at the end of last season. Spencer is also seeking damages stemming from accusations Ganassi tried to sabotage his career as a driver.

The 2002 season was a disappointing one for Spencer who piloted Ganassi's Target Dodge to 27th place in the final Winston Cup Series point standings. He also failed to qualify for last year's Daytona 500.

Ganassi was surprised at the suit. "It's ridiculous, we never even had a signed contract,'' Ganassi told the Associated Press. "We kept bartering back and forth during our original negotiations and we never got to a final agreement. I don't owe him anything and he knows that.''

Spencer also alleges in the suit that Ganassi sabotaged his Busch Series deal with car owner James Finch. Spencer piloted the Yellow Freight entry in 23 Busch events last year.

Ganassi has a partnership with Finch that will fund the Busch Series operation in 2003 with a group of drivers including Jamie McMurray, a member of the Ganassi Winston Cup team.

"If anyone believes I sabotaged Spencer's Busch deal, that's just laughable,'' Ganassi said.

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