By , Tom Jensen
Published January 31, 2017
In NASCAR as in life, breakups are often messy and sometimes very public.
And just after the 2016 NASCAR season ended, there's already legal action taking place. According to an ESPN.com report, veteran driver Clint Bowyer is suing his former team HScott Motorsports for more than $2.2 million that Bowyer said he is owed for driving for the team in his one-year-only deal in 2016.
Through a PR flak, the team vigorously denied the merits of the suit, saying that team owner Harry Scott will contest it.
According to the ESPN report, Bowyer alleges that the team "missed two monthly payments and a commission for bringing sponsorship to the team."
Whether or not the suit has merit will be up to a judge or a jury to decide, or perhaps like so many lawsuits, the two sides will come up with some form of settlement.
Sadly, the Bowyer-HScott suit is not the first of its kind in NASCAR.
In September 2007, when the U.S. economy was beginning to tank and teams were consolidating, drivers Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek sued Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., alleging they were owed money.
The drivers filed suit less than two months after Ginn and DEI merged, but settled their differences out of court in November of that year.
In November 2009, Aric Almirola sued Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and DEI, two more merged teams, for alleged breach of contract. But that suit was dropped within just a couple of weeks.
In one of the more bizarre NASCAR-related suits, Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith sued famous entertainer Wayne Newton in 2010, seeking foreclosure on Newton's 52-acre Casa de Shenandoah ranch in Las Vegas and alleging Newton was delinquent on a $3.5 million loan.
Newton moved out of the ranch, his home for 45 years, in 2013 as part of a comprehensive bankruptcy reorganization.
Then there was the time in 2004, when Ford Motor Co. sued driver Kasey Kahne for signing a contract to leave for and join Ray Evernham's Dodge team in 2004. Ultimately, the court ruled Kahne had done nothing wrong and dismissed all of Ford's claims.