Front Row sues Conway and Extenze Front Row Motorsports is suing its former driver Kevin Conway and his sponsor Biotab Nutraceuticals, which sells Extenze, over alleged non-payment of part of a $5.4 million sponsorship deal for Conway to drive a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car in 2010. The lawsuit was filed Monday in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte. A Front Row Motorsports spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit, which asks for damages to cover the $2.754 million that will eventually be due under the terms of the contract, payment of $734,201 in sponsorship fees, hard card fees, race licenses and other expenses for services rendered and $135,000 advanced to Conway as part of his base compensation. "It's really unfortunate that they've made some pretty outrageous allegations against us and the good thing is we'll have our day in court, and the truth will all come to light in the months ahead," Conway said in a phone interview Tuesday. "Unfortunately, I can't really comment on the specifics." According to the complaint and contracts attached as exhibits, Extenze was to pay Conway's marketing company Exclaim $5.4 million in 50 weekly installments of $108,000, and that money was then to be sent to the race team. The $5.4 million was designed to cover the first 15 races, and then Extenze would have the option of funding the remaining 21 events through revenues generated by a product placement contract. The team would get 15% for product placement at dollar stores, retail stores or wholesale auto parts stores.
Conway's base compensation, according to a contract that is an exhibit in the lawsuit, was $540,000 plus 10% of any other sponsorships brought in for the car. He also would get paid 15% of all purse money and season point fund money, with the percentage increasing to 30% for any top-20, 35% for a top-10 and 45% for a top-five. Front Row was obligated to put Conway in a car that was in the top 35 in owner points, and if he failed to make the field in two consecutive races or any three during the season, the contract could be terminated. The deal between Conway and Front Row went sour during the summer, according to the complaint, when Exclaim allegedly began paying only half of its $108,000 payments beginning June 21. Exclaim is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. Front Row notified Conway on Aug. 8 that he would not be back in the car beginning with the Aug. 15 race at Michigan if his sponsor could not pay its $108,000 weekly fee. Conway did not compete at Michigan but then ran the next three events for Robby Gordon Motorsports. He is scheduled to run seven of the final 10 events for RGM but will not be in the car this weekend because team owner Robby Gordon has sponsorship for the New Hampshire race. The lawsuit was filed by Charlotte attorney Ron Skufca, who represents the North Carolina-based Front Row Motorsports. Biotab is based in California. SceneDaily
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