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NASCAR Cup: Michael Waltrip Racing settles lawsuit

Michael Waltrip (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Now-defunct NASCAR premier series race team Michael Waltrip Racing has reached a settlement with former employee Brandon Hopkins, according to a report by Bob Pockrass, NASCAR writer for ESPN.

“The parties to this litigation are pleased to announce that they have amicably resolved their disputes in their entirety and wish each other well in the future,” read a statement relating to the settlement. “Michael Waltrip Racing acknowledges that Brandon was a talented tire changer and wishes him well in the sport. Brandon acknowledges that he enjoyed his years with Michael Waltrip Racing and wishes his former teammates well in the future.”

Hopkins was a tire changer for MWR and, according to his claim, had a $160,000 job with the race team. He was fired in 2014.  According to him, he was fired because he took time off to recover from shoulder surgery necessitated by injuries sustained when he was hit by a car on pit road during a race. Hopkins also contended that Michael Waltrip Racing encouraged other teams to not hire him.

Hopkins claimed MWR cost him an unpaid internship with another premier series team and a paid position with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team.

Michael Waltrip Racing accused Hopkins of stealing a pit gun.

Hopkins cited breach of contract, defamation, intentional interference with a contract and violating the North Carolina blacklisting statute and federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act in his lawsuit.

MWR shuttered operations at the end of the 2015 season. Former team majority owner Rob Kauffman is a minority owner of Chip Ganassi Racing. MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip and former NASCAR driver is a NASCAR TV broadcaster.

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Posted by on November 7, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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