Marlin, Nemechek, 2 crew chiefs file breach of contract suits against Ginn, DEI

Updated: September 10, 2007, 4:54 PM ET

CONCORD, N.C. -- Sterling Marlin, Joe Nemechek and two crew chiefs have filed breach of contract suits against Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Joe Nemechek

Nemechek

Sterling Marlin

Marlin

All four lost their jobs when the two teams merged in late July, and in separate lawsuits filed last week in Cabarrus County they claim they are owed their salaries. The suits don't specify what the parties are seeking, but say "demand for payment has been made ..., but [Ginn and DEI] have failed and/or refused to pay all or any part."

Land developer Bobby Ginn bought the race team last summer, but merged it with DEI in late July. A week before the merger, he released Marlin, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, and Nemechek.

Crew chiefs Richard Labbe and Peter Sospenzo lost their jobs after the merger.

A spokesman for Ginn did not immediately return a call for comment, but DEI general manager John Story said his organization is not responsible for the old contracts.

"While we were named as a party to the lawsuit, we were never a party to the contracts in question," Story said. "This is an obligation that Ginn will be addressing and any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to them."

According to the suit, both drivers were due to make $1.2 million this season, and were promised 45 percent of their race winnings and 33 percent of souvenir sales. Nemechek earned more than $4 million in race winnings last season, while Marlin made $3.2 million.

Labbe, the crew chief for Marlin, and Sospenzo, crew chief for Nemechek, were earning $450,000 annual salaries.

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