Robby Gordon filed suit in L.A. County Superior Court late last week, alleging that Extenze and its parent company, Biotab Nutraceuticals, failed to pay at least $690,000 in sponsorship money owed from the final two months of the 2010 season. He also hinted that he may be back in court soon on another racing-related matter. “We got into a couple of bad deals this year; with BAM (Racing) and Extenze,” said Gordon. “You’re reading about this deal this week and you’ll read about the BAM deal next week.”
Gordon said the Extenze lawsuit involves races held in the months of October and November where he drove a Robby Gordon Motorsports entry with Extenze sponsorship. Extenze’s driver of choice -- eventual 2010 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Kevin Conway -- had driven the car in a handful of races after moving to RGM from Front Row Motorsports, but gave way to Gordon after the team came perilously close to falling out of the Top 35 in owner points.
“Kevin Conway made the phone call to get approval for me to get back in the race car,” said Gordon to Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody. After giving that approval, however, Gordon said Extenze declined to pay for the races in question, alleging that RGM breached its sponsorship contract by not having Conway at the wheel. “They were already behind in their payments at that point,” said Gordon, “so it is what it is.”
The suit marks the second time this year that Extenze has been accused of not paying its sponsorship tab. In September of this year, Front Row Motorsports sued Extenze and Biotab Nutraceuticals for $2.754 million it says it was owed under the terms of Conway’s sponsorship contract. That total includes more than $734,000 in sponsorship, hard card fees, race licenses and other expenses, plus $135,000 advanced to Conway by the team as part of his base salary.
Asked if Extenze’s problems with Front Row Motorsports had been a cause for concern, Gordon said, “It absolutely was, but Robert Winter (of Biotab Nutraceuticals) gave me his personal word. He said, `You don’t need to worry about a thing, I pay my bills.' We had their corporate word and his personal word that things would be done right.”
In a related story, Gordon said he is close to resolving a lawsuit filed against RGM by Specialized Bicycle Products, alleging that the logo on Gordon’s new SPEED Energy Drink was virtually identical to theirs. “We’ve pretty much got the SPEED lawsuit resolved,” he said. “We’re in settlement talks to do something different (with the logo). I didn’t have a year and a half to fight it in court, so we decided to do something different.”