There is only ONE Oklahoma

Monday, January 05, 2009

Elliott Sadler's shoe is on the other foot, lets go to court!

When the shoe is on the other foot, Elliott Sadler threatens to go to court. Some have called it Karma, others call it ironic, but the firing of Elliott Sadler might be more comical than anything else. One thing we do know is that Sadler appears to have chosen to not air his case in the media and there has not been a peep from the ‘Southern Gentleman’ since this story broke.

A few items we ‘know’ and a few items we ‘speculate’:

Sadler and his attorney John Buric are not only seeking full compensation of the two years remaining on Sadler’s contract, but also asking for that compensation to be trebled (3 times the award)

Sadler claims that he was not aware that GEM was an any ‘active negotiation’ with other driver(s) to replace him and that he was not informed of the decision until Dec 30th (even though the original story broke nationwide three days prior)

Buric conceded that there was ‘communication’ between GEM and Sadler that a driver change was being considered prior to the story breaking.

Sadler signed a contract extension in the spring of 2008 (running through the 2010 season), although it was not officially announced until late May of 2008

Sadler in his two full seasons with GEM finished 25th in points in 2007, and 24th in 2008.

Now a few items who know from Sadler’s past:

Sadler has broken two previous contracts himself and in the latest instance began negotiating his newer contract BEFORE notifying his current owner of his intentions.

In both cases above, Sadler cited ‘performance’ of his equipment and ‘chances of winning a race/championship’ as a justification for breaking the contract.

So if Sadler is willing to break contracts because he feels the race team, as a whole is not as competitive as he would like, then the converse should also be true. It should be fair to say that when Sadler signed his two-year contract extension in early April, he was also saying that he was getting competitive equipment. If Sadler is such the marketable driver (on and off the track), he would be foolish to resign with GEM if there equipment was inferior or inferior enough to be used as a viable excuse for poor performance.

GEM and the sole owner before them, had a history of terminating drivers with remaining years on their contracts based on a lack of on track performance. The most recent being the former driver of the 19 car, and ironically the driver from where Sadler’s current problems came from. Jeremy Mayfield chose a bit different tactic in his court strategy and air much of the team’s dirty laundry with the press prior to filing his claim. His agreement/settlement however also had a ‘gag order’ placed on it, where neither party would/could comment on the details of the settlement.

My hope for a resolution:

Just a guess, but I am thinking that Sadler’s positioning to a nice, quiet out of court settlement would be preferred. From a personal stand point; I hope this will become the furthest from the truth. I truly hope this goes to a court of law where BOTH parties can air the grievances publicly and that we as fans can really see just what happened. AND, if Sadler is truly due compensation, I hope he receives it, and yes treble the amount due to him, as the chances of him ever returning to the ‘Cup Elite’ while not that great anyway, are pretty much dissolved at this point. If the judgment for no compensation is granted, so be it as well. Chances of either happening though is about as good as me getting a CUP ride next year based on my 4.99 Iracing safety rating alone. Like most driver/owner disputes, this will be swept under the carpet and both parties will ‘claim’ victory after the fact.


Anonymous said...

Sadler has no leg to stand on. I can't believe I read this morning on a sadler message board that they were trying to say that GEM firing him while under contract was totally different from Sadler leaving Yates under contract.

Anonymous said...


It's just all so nasty.

Sadler is nasty and Evernham is nasty, and now Gillett has become infected.

NASCAR wonders about empty seats and poor ticket sales.

Who wants to pay good money so see a bunch of nasty clown-like, spoiled millionaire bums?

Just get it all over with and make this nasty chapter in the racing saga go away.

Elliott.....take an extended honeymoon and do the world a favor.

Anonymous said...


Sadler's lawyer is an idiot. If they don't want you in the car why fight to stay in it for 2 more years? Take the buyout, which the ownership has already said they will pay, and move on.