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

9/10/2007 - NASCAR

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


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.