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NASCAR Xfinity: Chip Ganassi Racing responds to Brennan Poole lawsuit

JOLIET, IL – SEPTEMBER 16: Brennan Poole, driver of the #48 DC Solar Chevrolet, races Brandon Jones, driver of the #33 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series TheHouse.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2017 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Brennan Poole, former driver for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, has sued Chip Ganassi Racing and his former management company, Spire Sports and Entertainment, claiming CGR and Spire conspired to take sponsorship from DC Solar away from him and give it to the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team of Kyle Larson in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Poole claims he brought the DC Solar sponsorship to the race team. He also accuses the race team and management company of misleading him by inflating costs to move to other race teams and making the false claim that no Cup Series teams were interested in him.

Chip Ganassi Racing disputes Poole’s claim. On Friday, the race team released the following statement through its attorneys, Cary B. Davis of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson and James H. Voyles Jr. of Voyles, Vaiana, Lukemeyer, Baldwin and Webb:

“Brennan Poole’s lawsuit, like so many based on so-called ‘information and belief,’ is long on conspiracy and insinuation and woefully short on the relevant facts. As will be shown by actual evidence, nobody conspired to steal a sponsor away from Brennan Poole.

“First, DC Solar’s 2017 sponsorship agreement for the No. 48 Xfinity car was with Chip Ganassi Racing, not Mr. Poole.

“Second, after three years of generously supporting the No. 48 Xfinity team, DC Solar unilaterally decided it no longer wanted to spend its motorsports sponsorship dollars on a race car driven by Brennan Poole. DC Solar decided to move its sponsorship up to the Monster Energy Cup Series and informed Mr. Poole that its future plans did not include him.

“Third, DC Solar discussed potential sponsorship packages with several Cup Series teams before ultimately deciding – well after deciding to move on from Brennan Poole – to sponsor the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by one of the sport’s brightest stars, Kyle Larson.

“Finally, throughout the 2017 racing campaign Mr. Poole was kept fully informed of DC Solar’s concerns about his performance and its plans to move up to the Cup Series.

“It is true that Mr. Poole’s driver agreement contains a non-solicitation provision. However, once there was no longer a relationship between Mr. Poole and DC Solar left to protect, Mr. Poole lost any right he arguably may have had to stop DC Solar from continuing its sponsorship of CGR, or for that matter spending its money any place it saw fit.

“CGR regrets that Mr. Poole refuses to accept that his three-year run with CGR and DC Solar came to an end not because of some nefarious plot against him, but because he never won a race despite the advantages of the best equipment in the garage. CGR will vigorously defend against these frivolous claims, and looks forward to presenting evidence that will set the record straight.”

Poole drove the No. 48 Xfinity Series entry full-time for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016 and 2017 after a partial schedule in 2015 for HScott Motorsports through a partnership with CGR. In 83-career starts, Poole failed to win a race. He finished in the top-five eight times and scored 36 top-10 finishes.

Poole hasn’t raced in a NASCAR national series since his final race with CGR, the 2017 Xfinity Series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November.

Spire Sports and Entertainment hasn’t yet been served relating to the lawsuit, but the company released a statement through its attorneys, Cindy Van Horne & Lee Spinks from Poyner Spruill LLP:

“Spire considers it extremely unfortunate that Brennan Poole has chosen this course of action in light of the strong support he received from Spire, DC Solar and CGR. Although Spire has not been served, it understands the general nature of the allegations, denies them, and intends to vigorously defend these unfounded claims.

“Spire is gratified to be an active contributor to the success of many drivers, sponsors, race teams and manufacturers in NASCAR. Spire is particularly proud of its success securing for Brennan an Xfinity ride for the past three years with an excellent team, CGR, and in assuring that DC Solar, his former sponsor, continued its support for Brennan throughout that time.

“While Spire defends this action in the courts, it remains committed to the success of not only those it represents, but to the entire racing community.”

In his suit, Poole accused Spire of conflict of interest for signing on as a consultant for Chip Ganassi Racing in the team’s search for a sponsor for the No. 42 team of Larson to replace the departing Target.

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Posted by on July 3, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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