Poole claims his former team owner and his agent conspired to steal a sponsor away from the driver; Lawyers say no
Brennan Poole opened a lawsuit this week against his former car owner. Poole landed at Chip Ganassi Racing with sponsorship backing.
In 2018, Poole sits on the sidelines without a sponsor. Meanwhile, his former sponsor, DC Solar is featured on the ride driven by Kyle Larson in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Poole claims that lines in his contract required approval before using the DC Solar sponsorship in other areas of the team. Spire Sports & Entertainment represented both Poole and Chip Ganassi Racing, which Poole claims might have created a conflict of interest when Target pulled out of the sport in 2017.
Other items in the the lawsuit include the exaggeration of costs. Spire told Poole a ride with JR Motorsports would cost $7.5 million when the actual cost was $3.2 million. In addition, he was also told a ride with Richard Childress Racing in the MENCS would cost $15 million, when the actual cost was only $10 million.
Poole is absent from all the top three divisions of the NASCAR ladder for the first time since 2015. He drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series between 2015-2017. The first year, he was partnered with HScott Motorsports, which is affiliated with CGR.
Since the lawsuit was brought to light, both defending parties have issues a statement.
Lawyers for Chip Ganassi Racing
Cary B. Davis of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson and James H. Voyles, Jr. of Voyles Vaiana Lukemeyer Baldwin & Webb issued the following statement:
“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.”
Lawyers for Spire Sports & Entertainment
The attorneys for Spire Sports & Entertainment – 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.”
Related: Brennan Poole is suing Ganassi