Star NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer fights lawsuit in South Dakota over customized motorcycle
MITCHELL, S.D. – NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer has asked a South Dakota judge to dismiss a motorcycle company's lawsuit against him that alleges he didn't pay for $31,000 of custom work it did on his Harley-Davidson.
Klock Werks Kustom Cycles in Mitchell says it did the work on Bowyer's motorcycle about four years ago. The company is seeking the money plus 18 percent annual interest, along with attorney and court fees.
Bowyer, 33, who was the runner-up in NASCAR's top-tier Sprint Cup series in 2012, says he repaid the debt through promotional services, The Daily Republic reported (http://bit.ly/Y3Gpz7 ).
He also says the court in South Dakota's Davison County has no jurisdiction over him because his agreement with Klock Werks was made in Arizona, the motorcycle was purchased in Minnesota and it was delivered to him in North Carolina.
In an affidavit filed Feb. 28, Bowyer and his Sioux Falls attorney, Steve Sanford, said he "has never set foot in South Dakota in any way related to this dispute." Bowyer said he attended the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis three times, "but not with the motorcycle in question here."
Klock Werks argues that because the work on the motorcycle was done in Mitchell, and because Bowyer or his personal representatives contacted Klock Werks in Mitchell by phone, emails and text messages to discuss the motorcycle, the South Dakota court does have jurisdiction.
Bowyer maintains that in exchange for Klock Werks' work and materials, he arranged for owner Brian Klock and others to attend a NASCAR race in Daytona, Fla., and got them access to restricted areas; personally met with Klock and his guests at the track; arranged for Klock to ride the motorcycle into the speedway and to record the event for promotional use; attended a four-hour photo shoot with the motorcycle; and allowed Klock the "use of my name, picture, and other intellectual property" so the motorcycle could be featured on the cover of the June 2009 issue of NASCAR Illustrated and in other publications.
Bowyer also says in his affidavit that he paid Klock Werks $5,000 for the paint used on the motorcycle after Klock told him it was not part of the promotional deal.