Davis/Dodge set for bitter split

Davis/Dodge set for bitter split

POCONO, Pa. - Last week Dodge Motorsports announced that they would end their manufacturer support of Bill Davis Racing due to a "material breach of agreement". Dodge's parent company Daimler/Chrysler filed suit this week against Davis, charging...

POCONO, Pa. - Last week Dodge Motorsports announced that they would end their manufacturer support of Bill Davis Racing due to a "material breach of agreement". Dodge's parent company Daimler/Chrysler filed suit this week against Davis, charging that Davis entered into talks with rival carmaker Toyota.

Ward Burton.
Photo by Jim Redman.
The suit alleges that Davis and Toyota were building a prototype to run in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004. Daimler/Chrysler accuses Davis and Dodge's agreement states that BDR must "represent, endorse or otherwise promote" Dodge products.

The suit was filed on May 23rd, and while a specific amount for damages was not requested, experts expect that it may be in the million-dollar range.

In a statement issued by Bill Davis Racing, the team claimed to be stunned by the decision.

"Bill Davis Racing is surprised by the decision of Daimler Chrysler's notification to terminate their agreement with Bill Davis Racing and to file suit alleging that Bill Davis Racing has breached its agreement with Daimler Chrysler.

Bill Davis Racing firmly believes that it has not breached the Daimler Chrysler agreement and that there is no justifiable reason for Daimler Chrysler asserting a claim that it has breached such an agreement."

Whatever the true story is, it's a critical blow for the already struggling BDR teams of Kenny Wallace and Ward Burton. Wallace has only one top-ten this season (Bristol) and Burton has rallied on two top-ten finishes (Talladega, Charlotte).

Loss of factory support means BDR loses access to crucial engineering data, wind tunnel time and the use of factory supplied parts for race teams. Davis' teams can continue to run Dodge Intrepids, but will now be forced to pay for all of their equipment.

"Factory support means they have access to the technology that all the Dodge teams have and all the information sharing," Goyer said. "It's access to all the technical aspects, plus the marketing support and use of the Dodge brand name."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Kenny Wallace , Jim Redman
Teams Bill Davis Racing