NASCAR seeks dismissal of racial discrimination suit

NASCAR has asked a judge to throw out a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a Georgia man who claims that NASCAR rebuffed his efforts to launch programs and a race team to help with NASCAR's diversity efforts.

The federal lawsuit, with claims of damages of $500 million apiece for a variety of discrimination allegations, was moved from New York to North Carolina since its filing last September. Diversity Motorsports Racing owner Terrance Cox, who filed the lawsuit, has dismissed the race teams from the suit, leaving NASCAR as the sole defendant.

Cox alleges that the lack of encouragement from NASCAR to corporate sponsors to support an African-American team is an "almost insurmountable obstacle to the integration of NASCAR" and that "NASCAR has engaged in unlawful intentional racial discrimination by refusing to contract with Plaintiffs in order that an African American owned racing team could be sanction[ed] for its various Cup Series."

NASCAR filed its response and a motion to dismiss Thursday, calling the claims "baseless."

"The complaint is nothing more than labels and conclusions; [Cox and his team] eschew factual allegations suggesting discrimination in favor of speculation about discrimination," NASCAR states in its motion to dismiss.

NASCAR argues in its filings that its ongoing initiatives show its commitment to diversity, that none of its decisions regarding Cox was based on race, that Cox's race team had been legally dissolved from 2014 to 2016 because it had not filed the required paperwork with the North Carolina Secretary of State, and that certain claims were barred by a three-year statute of limitations.

"[Cox and his company] were not denied any rights because of their race and NASCAR did not discriminate against them," NASCAR states in its answer to the complaint.

"NASCAR works hard to increase diversity in stock-car racing, as demonstrated by the successes of its multi-pronged Drive for Diversity initiative – an initiative that includes supporting a series of race teams through its partner Rev Racing, and a crew member development program – and its Diversity Internship Programs, as well as its participation in the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality." ESPN

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