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DATE News (chronologically)
04/25/07
nascar
Anti-trust lawsuit could result in breakup of France monopoly  UPDATE Kentucky Speedway no longer is demanding a Nextel Cup race in its federal lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. In an amended complaint filed Friday, the speedway now says it wants NASCAR to develop "objective factors" for the awarding of Nextel Cup races, the France family to give up control of either ISC (a public company that operates tracks and whose majority of voting stock is owned by the Frances) or NASCAR (a private company owned by the Frances) and for ISC to sell at least eight of the 12 tracks it owns that host Nextel Cup events. The 41-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Covington, also reveals some of the speedway's attempts to bring NASCAR's top racing series to Gallatin County. The speedway filed suit in July 2005 alleging NASCAR and ISC violated antitrust laws by restricting which tracks host Nextel Cup races and trying to "monopolize the market for hosting premium stock car racing events." In the original complaint, the speedway asked for Nextel Cup races to be awarded through a competitive bidding process. The complaint details some specific attempts by the speedway to secure a spot on the Nextel schedule. According to the new complaint, the track offered New Hampshire International Speedway owner Bob Bahre $360 million to buy the facility that holds two Cup races annually. NASCAR and ISC have denied the allegations contained in the original complaint. A NASCAR official could not be reached for comment Monday. Some parts of the amended complaint filed Friday were not made public after NASCAR successfully asked the judge to withhold "highly confidential" information. Cincinnati Enquirer

04/22/07 Kentucky Speedway has backed away from its demand that a jury award a Nextel Cup race to its track as part of its antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp.

But the track is demanding that NASCAR change the way it does business in a revised complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kentucky.
 
The track is asking that NASCAR develop objective factors to award Nextel Cup races, as well as asking the France family to sell off either ISC or NASCAR. It also asks that ISC divest itself of eight of its 12 tracks that operate a Cup race. Kentucky Speedway seeks damages in excess of $200 million.

The revised complaint, filed as part of the public record Friday, follows the completion of the investigation phase of the lawsuit, including depositions and the production of documents. Portions of the complaint have been removed from the public filing because it is believed it contains sensitive NASCAR and ISC financial information, as well as business strategies.  

Kentucky Speedway alleges that NASCAR, the sanctioning body and a privately owned company by the France family, conspires with ISC, a publicly traded company that operates tracks and whose majority of voting stock is owned by the France family, to award Nextel Cup races to ISC tracks.

NASCAR and ISC have denied the allegations of the original lawsuit, filed in July 2005. The new complaint is much more detailed in its allegations.

Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile paved oval, opened in 2000 and has played host to Craftsman Truck and Busch Series races but has not gotten a Nextel Cup date.

"The actions of NASCAR and ISC in shutting out competition make the most egregious tactics of NASCAR drivers fighting for position look like a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive in the country," the lawsuit states. "They have hurt race fans by causing higher ticket prices and creating fewer options to watch their favorite drivers."

Among the other allegations in the revised complaint:

  • NASCAR awarded a Nextel Cup date to Las Vegas in 1997 (for a 1998 race) because it expected that the owners at the time would sell to ISC. Instead the owners sold to ISC rival Speedway Motorsports Inc.
  • NASCAR and ISC attempted to induce Kentucky Speedway owners to sell at an "artificially-low" price in order to drive it from the market and/or allow ISC to take over the track.
  • It quotes SMI Chairman Bruton Smith on ISC's track portfolio: "If you make a good business decision, there's some of those places you would maybe go plant tobacco or grow peaches, but some of them should not exist today in the climate we're in." ISC's portfolio includes Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, California, Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Kansas, Homestead, Darlington, Phoenix, Richmond and Martinsville.
  • NASCAR implicitly threatened New Hampshire International Speedway with the loss of its track dates should New Hampshire sell a race to Kentucky Speedway. Kentucky offered New Hampshire owner Bob Bahre $360 million cash for his track. "The only reason why New Hampshire did not sell to Kentucky Speedway was because of the pressure exerted by ISC and NASCAR to exclude Kentucky Speedway from the market," the complaint states. It also alleges that NASCAR and ISC induced Pocono and Dover not to sell to Kentucky.
  • ISC and NASCAR encouraged Kentucky Speedway to buy Martinsville in 2003 and 2004, and owner Clay Campbell expressed interest in selling to Kentucky in spring 2003. ISC eventually bought Martinsville as part of the settlement of another antitrust lawsuit in 2004.  Scenedaily.com


04/21/07 Kentucky Speedway has backed away from its demand that a jury award a Nextel Cup race to its track as part of its antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp.

But the track is demanding that NASCAR change the way it does business in a revised complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kentucky.
 
The track is asking that NASCAR develop objective factors to award Nextel Cup races, as well as asking the France family to sell off either ISC or NASCAR. It also asks that ISC divest itself of eight of its 12 tracks that operate a Cup race. Kentucky Speedway seeks damages in excess of $200 million.

The revised complaint, filed as part of the public record Friday, follows the completion of the investigation phase of the lawsuit, including depositions and the production of documents. Portions of the complaint have been removed from the public filing because it is believed it contains sensitive NASCAR and ISC financial information, as well as business strategies. zzzz

Kentucky Speedway alleges that NASCAR, the sanctioning body and a privately owned company by the France family, conspires with ISC, a publicly traded company that operates tracks and whose majority of voting stock is owned by the France family, to award Nextel Cup races to ISC tracks.

NASCAR and ISC have denied the allegations of the original lawsuit, filed in July 2005. The new complaint is much more detailed in its allegations.

Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile paved oval, opened in 2000 and has played host to Craftsman Truck and Busch Series races but has not gotten a Nextel Cup date.

"The actions of NASCAR and ISC in shutting out competition make the most egregious tactics of NASCAR drivers fighting for position look like a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive in the country," the lawsuit states. "They have hurt race fans by causing higher ticket prices and creating fewer options to watch their favorite drivers."

Among the other allegations in the revised complaint:

  • NASCAR awarded a Nextel Cup date to Las Vegas in 1997 (for a 1998 race) because it expected that the owners at the time would sell to ISC. Instead the owners sold to ISC rival Speedway Motorsports Inc.
  • NASCAR and ISC attempted to induce Kentucky Speedway owners to sell at an "artificially-low" price in order to drive it from the market and/or allow ISC to take over the track.
  • It quotes SMI Chairman Bruton Smith on ISC's track portfolio: "If you make a good business decision, there's some of those places you would maybe go plant tobacco or grow peaches, but some of them should not exist today in the climate we're in." ISC's portfolio includes Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, California, Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Kansas, Homestead, Darlington, Phoenix, Richmond and Martinsville.
  • NASCAR implicitly threatened New Hampshire International Speedway with the loss of its track dates should New Hampshire sell a race to Kentucky Speedway. Kentucky offered New Hampshire owner Bob Bahre $360 million cash for his track. "The only reason why New Hampshire did not sell to Kentucky Speedway was because of the pressure exerted by ISC and NASCAR to exclude Kentucky Speedway from the market," the complaint states. It also alleges that NASCAR and ISC induced Pocono and Dover not to sell to Kentucky.
  • ISC and NASCAR encouraged Kentucky Speedway to buy Martinsville in 2003 and 2004, and owner Clay Campbell expressed interest in selling to Kentucky in spring 2003. ISC eventually bought Martinsville as part of the settlement of another antitrust lawsuit in 2004.  Scenedaily.com
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