Federal Court Dismisses Race Tire Anti-trust Lawsuit Against World Racing Group and Hoosier
CONCORD, N.C. -- September 21, 2009 -- The World Racing Group's and Hoosier Racing Tire Corp.'s two-year defense against Race Tires America and its parent Specialty Tires of America (STA) in a nationwide federal anti-trust lawsuit was summarily dismissed and is a major victory for the entire motorsports industry.
After considerable expense and time, on Sept. 15, 2009, Judge Terrence F. McVerry, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, ruled STA could not continue its case, scoring a victory for the motorsports industry that could have impacted more than 300 sanctioning bodies. The ruling will allow racing organizations to establish rules and processes as they determine to be best for their business.
STA maintained Hoosier violated anti-trust laws because of its agreements with sanctioning bodies that required competitors to use only Hoosier tires. The lawsuit was filed in September 2007, with World Racing Group (formerly DIRT MotorSports) added as an additional defendant in October 2007.
The court decided sanctioning bodies want single tire rules, and that there is "no antitrust injury to STA when it loses the competitive battle to be the exclusive supplier" to a sanctioning body.
"The Federal District Court's ruling in the anti-trust suit brought by STA against Hoosier and WRG is an extremely beneficial and important decision in motor sports in all of America," said Cary Agajanian, a noted motorsports attorney and WRG Board Member. "Although the suit was directed at those two entities initially and they were therefore obligated to bear the huge expense and effort of defending the suit, there were far reaching implications in play. Literally every sanctioning body in the U.S., four-wheel to two-wheel and from the highest form of racing down to quarter midgets and go-karts, have rules as to tires. This suit, if successful, would have been extremely detrimental to the motor sports industry. It was most heartening that the court fully understood and set forth in its opinion the significance of the rights of a sanctioning body to make reasoned and fair rules and enforce those rules. The court pointed out several other areas that are properly and legally controlled by sanctioning bodies such as motors, transmissions, chassis construction, etc. Who better than the people that operate the sport to decide what is safe to both competitors and fans, to create parity and close competition, and have economical and efficient operations.
"Lastly and most importantly, WRG's rules did allow STA as well as other tire companies besides Hoosier to bid on providing tires," Agajanian continued. "This process was competitive, not anti-competitive as alleged by STA. After a reasoned and fair process, WRG chose Hoosier to assist them and ultimately to provide the very best show possible to the fans."
Agajanian also said the prevention of "tire wars" is one of the most beneficial aspects of a tire rule, and that such activity is not only detrimental to the cost of racing but also to the safety of the competitors.
"While we were at the forefront of this case and vigorously defended our position with all of our resources, the victory is shared by the entire racing industry," said World Racing Group CEO Brian Carter. "A tire rule saves racers money and creates better competition, all of which is critical to entertaining our fans."
About World Racing Group, Inc.
World Racing Group, Inc., a sports entertainment company, is a world leader in the sanctioning and promotion of dirt track auto racing. WRGI, based in Concord, N.C., owns and operates the three highest profile national touring series for dirt track racing in the United States:
* The World of Outlaws(R) Sprint Car Series
* The World of Outlaws Late Model Series(SM)
* The Super DIRTcar Series(TM)
World Racing Group sanctions more than 4,900 local and regional dirt track racing events in the United States and Canada at 126 tracks each year under the DIRTcar(TM) Racing brand. In addition, World Racing Group owns and/or operates six premier dirt track speedways. WRG races can be heard online at DIRTVision.com(R). To learn more about World Racing Group, visit worldracinggroup.com.