Sadler to sue GEM and Allmendinger UPDATE #3 The Elliott Sadler Saga took another strange twist Thursday. Days after rumors began circulating that Sadler was set to be replaced at Gillett Evernham Motorsports by AJ Allmendinger and the threat of a lawsuit, Sadler will return to the GEM #19 Dodge, multiple sources have confirmed. Sadler's return coincides with the official news that GEM and Petty Holdings had reached a deal to merge. Fox Sports How about Allmendinger, impressive as a late-season fill-in in GEM's #10, stepping in as Sadler's replacement? I [Tom Bowles] had a good conversation with his agent, Tara Ragan, [Wednesday] that cleared up a few things. Here's the most important one to know: Allmendinger is NOT under contract with GEM, and remains looking for a ride. And according to Ragan, under no circumstances were there any sort of negotiations that revolved around Allmendinger trying to kick Sadler out of his ride. A free agent since being released from Team Red Bull in September, the Dinger's simply been looking for a good fit with several teams, trying to align with one where he can race competitively over the long term. While GEM was one of those opportunities out there, negotiating with the concept of kicking out a driver like Sadler was never on the mind of someone who just went through a similar experience not too long ago. Sports Illustrated [Editor's Note: BS. Sadler would not have threatened to sue if it not for Allmendinger trying to take his ride. As soon as Sadler threatened to sue all of a sudden the stories about Allmendinger changed.]
01/07/09 Attorney John Buric said Monday that Sadler will file suit against Gillett-Evernham Motorsports, team owner George Gillett, Ray Evernham Enterprises and driver AJ Allmendinger, hoping to block Allmendinger from replacing Sadler this season in the No. 19 Dodge.
"Our objective is to get in the car and race for them," said Buric, "We have a contract with them. We intend to enforce that contract." Sadler recently filed paperwork in Iredell County (NC) court, giving him until January 20th to file a breach of contract suit, if a settlement cannot be reached.
Sadler learned from Christmas Eve media reports that GEM was negotiating with Allmendinger to replace him, and claims that he still has not been officially informed of the move by anyone associated with the team. Buric says Sadler received a phone call saying only that the team wants to buy him out of his contract.
"We said we don't want to be bought out,” said Buric. “Elliott has a contract that doesn't expire until the end of 2010. He intends to race in 2009 and 2010."01/06/09 Since this lawsuit Allmendinger is now saying things that make you wonder if he will get the GEM ride....that perhaps Sadler's lawsuit will force GEM to keep Sadler, "I have nothing right now," Allmendinger said, adding, "There's always something brewing, but until I have a signed contract and I'm sitting in a race car, I'm going to stick with 'I have nothing right now.' "
With Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway rapidly approaching, the 27-year-old driver said the tension is mounting to get a deal.
"I hate it," Allmendinger said. "I'd like to be signed up and focusing on the 500 and the rest of the season. Unfortunately, the reality right now is where the economy is, well, it's just everybody is feeling it.
|Elliott Sadler - his lawsuit may prevent Allmendinger from getting GEM ride|
"I'm not the only jobless person in NASCAR. It's a tough time. It's the wrong time for me to be jobless because the economy is so bad, and there aren't as many teams around. It is what it is. We've got some people we are talking to and we'll see if that's going to happen." 01/02/09 An attorney representing Elliott Sadler has filed notice in Iredell County (N.C.) court saying the NASCAR driver intends to claim that Gillett Evernham Motorsports has breached Sadler's contract to drive the Sprint Cup team's No. 19 Dodges.
John Buric, Sadler's lawyer, filed an "application and order extending time to file complaint" Wednesday in Iredell County Superior Court. Sadler has until Jan. 20 to file an actual complaint if the parties cannot reach an agreement on their dispute.
According to the form, Sadler plans to seek "injunctive relief, declaratory relief/specific performance, consequential and punitive damages as a result of Defendants anticipatory and actual breach of Plaintiffs' Driving Services Agreement. ... Plaintiffs also seek general, consequential, treble and punitive damages, and attorney fees, as a result of Defendants' tortuous interference ..."
George Gillett, Gillette Evernham Motorsports, Anthony James Allmendinger and Ray Evernham Enterprises are named as defendants.
Buric said Sadler learned on Tuesday that GEM had engaged in negotiations with Allmendinger about driving the No. 19 Dodges in 2009. Buric said there had been "communication" with Sadler earlier, telling him that a change was being considered. But he said Sadler did not know there had been actual negotiations until he received phone calls about media reports that Allmendinger was being lined up to replace him.
"Elliott is ready, willing and able to fulfill his contractual obligations," Buric said. Sadler earlier this year signed an extension of his contract with GEM that runs through 2010.
"Gillett Evernham Motorsports policy does not allow us to comment on potential or pending legal matters involving the race team," said Ryan Barry, a spokesman for the organization. More at ThatsRacin.com