Marlin, Nemechek file lawsuit against Ginn Racing, DEI Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek have sued Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. for alleged breaches of their contracts, which included a base salary of $1.2 million apiece. The separate suits, filed Sept. 7 in Cabarrus County, N.C., do not specify how much they have been paid or what they exactly are owed. Also suing Ginn and DEI are crew chiefs Richard "Slugger" Labbe and Peter Sospenzo. Ginn and DEI merged prior to the Indianapolis race in July, and Marlin and Nemechek found themselves without a place in the organization. The points of the #14 of Marlin ended up moving to the #15 of DEI with Paul Menard as the driver, while the #13 Nemechek team was eliminated. "Demand for payment has been made ..., but [Ginn and DEI] have failed and/or refused to pay all or any part," the complaints state. The contracts of both drivers and both crew chiefs were filed as part of the complaints and give an insight to what the current rate is for drivers. Both drivers joined the organization when it was MB2 Motorsports. Marlin began in 2006 with a base salary of $1.1 million, and that increased to $1.2 million for 2007. Nemechek started with MB2 in 2004 and received $900,000 for 2004, $1 million for 2005, $1.1 million for 2006 and $1.2 million for 2007. Both drivers got to keep 45% of their race winnings (Nemechek, who was 27th in points in 2006, had $4,099,914 million total in race winnings last year, while Marlin, 34th in points, had $3,248,034 million) and 33% of souvenir sales. Their bonus schedules were $50,000 per win, $25,000 for a top-five, $10,000 for a top-10 and $5,000 per pole. Winning a Cup title was worth a $500,000 bonus, while second through fifth in the final standings were worth $250,000; sixth through 10th were $150,000; 11th through 15th were $100,000 and 16th through 20th were $50,000. Each received a $500 per race travel allowance, a seat on the team plane and a hotel room for each race. They also got a personal car. They agreed to 50 hours of personal appearances for a sponsor plus two days for commercials or media events as well as unlimited track hospitality visits not to exceed 30 minutes in length. They were both responsible for their own insurance. There is a morals clause in each contract stating they "shall not associate with gamblers or other notorious characters; shall not use illegal drugs; and shall not consume alcoholic beverages except in moderation but in no event within eight hours prior to driving in a race or practice."
As far as the crew chiefs, Labbe, hired as the crew chief for Marlin in August 2006, and Sospenzo, hired as crew chief for Nemechek in October 2006, were earning $450,000 annual salaries. Labbe was guaranteed another $50,000 if his bonus money didn't reach that amount, while Sospenzo was guaranteed $25,000. Their bonuses were $20,000 for a win, $10,000 for second-fifth, $5,000 for sixth-10th, $2,500 for 11th-15th and $1,000 for a pole. A season championship was worth $100,000, second-fifth ($75,000) and sixth-10th were $50,000 for Labbe and sixth-12th were $50,000 for Sospenzo. They also got a personal vehicle as well as reimbursement for motorhome expenses. They agreed to make 10 away-from-the-track appearances. They also signed confidentiality agreements related to technical data and car setups. They also agreed that if they left they company, they would not attempt to hire any crew members for a year.(SceneDaily.com)(9-10-2007)