Chip Ganassi Racing Responds to Lawsuit From Former NASCAR Driver Brennan Poole
The NASCAR team faces a lawsuit from one of its former drivers, but Chip Ganassi Racing is defending itself against Brennan Poole's claims.
Chip Ganassi Racing and management company Spire Sports and Entertainment have released statements, via attorneys, in response to a lawsuit filed against them by former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brennan Poole. In his lawsuit, Poole accuses CGR and Spire of conspiring against him to take his sponsor DC Solar from him to move the sponsorship to the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team of Kyle Larson in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“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,” read a portion of the statement from Cary B. Davis of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson and James H. Voyles Jr. of Voyles Vaiana Lukemeyer Baldwin and Webb, the attorney’s representing CGR.
Poole drove the No. 48 entry of Chip Ganassi Racing full-time in the Xfinity Series in 2016 and 2017 after a partial Xfinity Series schedule in 2015, driving for the now-defunct HScott Motorsports, through a partnership with CGR. Poole had sponsorship from DC Solar for all those races. In his suit, Poole claims he brought the DC Solar sponsorship to the race team. Chip Ganassi Racing disputes that claim.
“First, DC Solar’s 2017 sponsorship agreement for the No. 48 Xfinity car was with Chip Ganassi Racing, not Mr. Poole,” the statement released on behalf of CGR stated. “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.”
Poole also claims that he was misled by both Chip Ganassi Racing and Spire Sports Entertainment. He says he was told he would inherit the seat behind the wheel of CGR’s No. 1 Cup Series entry upon the 2016 retirement of Jamie McMurray. McMurray is still driving that car. Poole also claims that he was told no other Cup Series teams had shown interest in him, but Cup Series team Richard Childress Racing had. He also claims he and DC Solar were given inflated figures on the costs of moving the sponsorship to JR Motorsports, another Xfinity Series team, and to go to Cup racing with Richard Childress Racing.
“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,” the statement from Chip Ganassi Racing’s attorneys continued.
Poole failed to win an Xfinity Series race in 83-career series starts. He posted eight top-fives and 36 top-10 finishes.
“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 made his last Xfinity start, to date, in the 2017 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November.
Spire has yet to be served regarding the lawsuit but released the following statement:
“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.”
Poole accuses Spire of a conflict of interest as it became a consultant for Chip Ganassi Racing in a sponsor search for its No. 42 Cup Series car upon the departure of Target from the team. Spire was representing Poole at that time.