Jeff Burton was sponsor-free at Bristol Motor Speedway today, rolling through inspection and practice without any sponsor logos on his orange-and-black #31 Chevrolet.
There was no identification of either AT&T or Cingular Wireless on the car this morning, after AT&T were unable to come to agreement on a logo package that would satisfy both parties. The #31 Chevrolet arrived at the track in a plain black hauler, and crewmembers wore gray Richard Childress Racing shirts instead of their usual AT&T uniforms. Burton wore an orange driver's suit with only associate sponsor logos.
NASCAR ordered that AT&T signage be removed from the car after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision allowing the team to display the AT&T logo until a lawsuit to settle the issue can be heard. AT&T will reportedly file a new injunction later today, asking for a court hearing in early September.
Team owner Richard Childress said he expects Burton to run tomorrow night’s race without the AT&T globe -- or any other cellular company identification -- on his quarterpanels. He made it clear, however, that he is not happy with the situation.
“My take on the whole thing is we've been here 14 weeks with AT&T," he said. "We've both lived together. The world isn't coming to an end. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we can figure out how we can all live by the same rules. Cingular was our sponsor, and we've got to do everything we can to keep them in the sport. Hopefully, something will come to a happy ending. Or maybe not happy. None of us may like it, but we can all live with it."