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This is some serious BS!!!


Also ask to kick Nextel competitors of out Cup Series

ATLANTA -- NASCAR filed a $100 million counter claim against AT&T Inc. on Sunday, accusing the wireless provider of interfering with its exclusive sponsorship agreement with rival wireless company Nextel.

The suit also asks that NASCAR be granted the right to kick AT&T -- and all telecommunications companies other than Nextel -- out of its top series in 2008.

NASCAR filed the suit electronically in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, alleging breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful interference with Nextel.

NASCAR and AT&T have been battling all season over NASCAR's refusal to allow AT&T to put its logos on Jeff Burton's car. Burton and his Richard Childress Racing team have a sponsorship agreement with Cingular, which has since been purchased by AT&T.

AT&T is re-branding the company, but NASCAR would not allow the logos to be changed, citing its agreement with Nextel. Cingular and Alltel were grandfathered into the sport when Nextel entered in 2004, but no changes are permitted to their deals and no other telecommunications companies are allowed into the sport.

NASCAR claims Nextel has exclusivity through its 10-year, $700 million investment.

AT&T sued, and U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob issued a preliminary injunction last month that allowed the Cingular logos to be replaced. He also barred NASCAR and any entity affiliated with it from interfering with AT&T's rights as primary sponsor of the car in the Nextel Cup series.

Burton has raced with AT&T logos since the May 19 ruling. He and Childress both said Sunday they were close to a contract extension for both the driver and AT&T.

In its counterclaim, NASCAR charges that AT&T and Cingular breached its contract with NASCAR, noting the company agreed to abide by NASCAR rules.

NASCAR is seeking a ruling that it "may take certain actions for the 2008 season in order to protect NASCAR and all participants in the sport by placing NASCAR into full compliance with the terms and conditions of the Nextel Sponsorship Agreement.''

"Cingulars refusal to follow NASCAR rules and accept NASCARs denial of this paint scheme, and the filing of this lawsuit, has undermined NASCARs authority as the sanctioning body of stock car auto racing,'' said the suit.

Most notable among those "certain actions'' is that "NASCAR may exercise its discretion not to offer NASCAR membership to Cingular or AT&T for the 2008 Nextel Cup Series season.''

NASCAR also contends it should have the right to not offer a driver and car owner agreement for 2008 to any car sponsored by a telecommunications company other than Nextel.

Alltel sponsors Ryan Newman for Penske Racing.

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said NASCAR does not comment on pending litigation.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel could not be reached for comment.
 

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Exactly TA, they want the money, but want to protect there a$$!!
 

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AT&T Answers Back

AT&T announces 3-year extension with RCR

By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer

June 18, 2007


ATLANTA (AP) -- One day after NASCAR made a legal request for permission to remove AT&T from the Nextel Cup series in 2008, AT&T made a strong statement it plans to stick around.

AT&T announced it has exercised an option for a three-year extension with Richard Childress Racing to remain the primary sponsor of Jeff Burton's No. 31 car through the 2010 season. Financial terms were not announced.

Burton, meanwhile, has agreed on a contract extension with RCR.

AT&T's announcement followed another legal move by NASCAR, which continues to try to protect its 10-year, $700 million primary sponsorship deal with Nextel. NASCAR claims the arrangement was designed to give Nextel exclusive rights among telecommunications companies.

Cingular and Alltel had previous sponsorship deals which thus far have been protected by the courts. U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob issued a preliminary injunction last month that allowed the Cingular logos on Burton's Chevrolet to be changed to AT&T markings.


Shoob also barred NASCAR and any entity affiliated with it from interfering with AT&T's rights as primary sponsor of the car in the Nextel Cup series.

On Sunday, NASCAR asked for a minimum of $100 million in damages in a counter claim against AT&T Inc.

The suit also asks that NASCAR be granted the right to kick AT&T -- and all telecommunications companies other than Nextel -- out of its top series in 2008.

NASCAR alleges breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful interference with Nextel.

AT&T showed Monday it will continue to make plans to remain in NASCAR's premier series.

``As longtime supporters of racing and its fans, we are very pleased to continue our involvement with the sport as a team sponsor in the wireless category,'' said Dave Garver, executive director of high growth segments and sponsorships for the wireless division at AT&T.

``We've enjoyed our relationship with Jeff and RCR, and look forward to continuing to work with them through many more winning seasons.''

Cingular, and now AT&T, have been the primary sponsor of the No. 31 car since 2002.

``AT&T has been an important part of RCR since 2002, so we're very excited about renewing our contract with them and continuing that great relationship,'' Richard Childress said.

``AT&T has been a tremendous supporter of RCR's fans and racing fans throughout the sport for more than a decade and I am eager to turn our full attention back to winning a championship.''

Burton began driving for RCR in 2004 and was named the driver of the No. 31 car for the 2005 season. He has two wins, four poles, 15 top-five finishes and 33 top-10 finishes in 85 races.

Burton said AT&T has ``been a great company to work with.''
 
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