Wednesday, March 20, 2013

BK's Devine: Cassill Demanded Number One Status

Cassill says he was deceived
BK Racing co-owner Ron Devine has responded to the lawsuit filed by former driver Landon Cassill, alleging that the team failed to pay him $145,000 in guaranteed 2012 base salary and an additional $60,000 for other services rendered to the team.

“I am disappointed that he decided to go the legal route,” said Devine. “We tried to work it out with him and we couldn’t. It’s like any other transaction. Everybody has their position and if you can’t agree, you can’t agree. I don’t want to say too much about it because it is an ongoing suit, but I think our position is reasonable. It’s a shame we couldn’t work it out, because I felt like (Cassill) fit in well with our team and I thought we had a pretty good year.”
Devine did not dispute Cassill’s assertion that he was paid less than the $500,000 called for in his 2012 driving contract.
“He is accurate (in saying) he had a contract that had a minimum of a half-million dollars,” Devine said. “What he earned (as) race winnings, we don’t dispute. We have no problem with that. It was supposed to be close to $500,000, that was the idea, and he missed it by over $100,000.
“The $60,000 for other services rendered, we’re not too sure where he comes up with that,” he said. “We’re anxious to understand that piece of it.”
Cassill claims he was “deceived” by BK Racing about his status for 2013; held in limbo until it was too late to find another ride. Devine flatly denied that allegation, saying it was Cassill’s insistence on being the team’s number-one driver that prevented them from coming to terms.
Cassill drove the No. 83 Toyota last season
“He had some things he wanted us to agree to that we weren’t willing to do,” said Devine. “One of them was (agreeing) that he was the number-one, full-time starter. We had three drivers (who) shared the rides last year and we were set to do that again. We have aspirations of putting a third car on the track (in 2013). We’re trying as hard as we can to get the (No.) 73 on the track, but we’re just not there yet. “We were not prepared to run three cars… and when I went to the other two drivers and said they would have to share the ride, they were fine with it. When we talked to Landon, he didn’t want to do that.
“We were trying to work something out with all three of the drivers where they could share the (monetary) pool, no matter who was driving the car,” he explained. “Landon didn’t want to do that. I understand that he’s young and wants to run every week, but we felt that for the size of our team, it was better for us to have a stable of three (drivers) and share the ride.
“There was stuff like that that occurred,” said Devine, “so I don’t know why he thinks we misled him. He was as much a part of that negotiation as we were. We were going back and forth, and could not come to an agreement. We offered him a number of options to resolve the matter, and none of it was appealing to him, so he decided to go this route.”
Devine said the dispute over Cassill’s 2012 pay was not a factor in his decision to part company for 2013.
“It wasn’t for me, but maybe it was for him,” he said. “I actually thought we were close to being able to resolve the 2012 issues.
“The issue is not what he earned driving,” repeated Devine. “We don’t have a problem with that.  The issue is the minimum (and the fact that) we believe there should be some offsets (for) the money he earned from things we paid out. He doesn’t see it that way, so the dispute is really in regard to (whether) the minimum is inclusive -- or not inclusive – of other things we paid.
“I’m sure the lawyers helped him write that he was deceived, but he was very much a part of the ongoing negotiations.”
Devine also denied damaging Cassill’s career by preventing him from finding a new Sprint Cup Series ride.
“I don’t wish (Cassill) any harm,” said the BK Racing co-owner. “He’s a young, talented driver who has a ride. I know it says in his suit that we tried to keep him out of the sport, but that’s simply not the case. He’s out there and he’s got a ride. I see him at the track, so that’s not accurate."
Attorney Adam Ross has been hired to represent the team, and Devine said he is crafting a response to the suit that will be filed in the near future.


  1. Anonymous4:31 PM

    I don't believe a young drive would risk his reputation in Nascar if his attorney's didn't feel he had a very good case. Good luck Landon.

  2. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Why would a young team risk their reputation? They have more to lose than Cassil....Don't they?

  3. Anonymous6:00 PM

    The team didn't have a great reputation to begin with. Several of the owners came from TRG. They'll still find drivers to race for them no matter what happens. They have more resources than a young driver does. They can do P.R. to blame the misunderstanding on his youth and make him look bad. I just don't think they have more to loose. You take an owner to court as a young driver, you better win or be a damn good driver in order to keep your career going.

  4. Anonymous6:51 PM

    just because he has a ride doesnt now mean they didnt try to keep him from getting one

  5. mr clause7:46 AM

    My thinking on this is that had BK just went ahead and paid Cassill what they owed him under the $500K part of the contract and then worked out a solution on the rest they'd look a lot better and have more to stand on. To not have paid Cassill for last year this far into 2013 just seems like there's some game playing by BK Racing.Now they've started the nit picking to draw attention away from the fact that they have not made the first step of paying what they contracted to pay. BK Racing pushed this into court, not Cassill. Of course contracts have a history in NASCAR of not being worth much. Yet another DW legacy.

  6. Anonymous8:09 AM

    No matter how this turns out, I dont think you will ever see Cassill in a competitive car. If I were an owner, I wouldnt touch him. If I were him, at this point in his career, I would have kissed some serious butt to stay with the team that gave him his best chance to this point. I think he got a little too big for his britches, as my grandmother would say. Cassill, you are at a place where you can play games yet.

  7. Anonymous9:42 AM

    If he is owed a $145K for the balance of his salary, Devine
    could make himself look better by paying that now. This is not
    good publicity for Burger King when a driver is not being paid their already earned wages. Sounds like another big guy trying to
    hold up a small guy to give him a lesser amount.

  8. Anonymous10:06 AM

    I have no skin in this battle, however it does appear that the former employer doesn't want to pay what was probably agreed to, we don't know for sure as we don't really know what was written on paper. Employer probably thought former employee would take what ever was offered, again we don't know for sure, but probably the case here. I don't know what it is with these youngsters these days. Thinking that they should be paid all of what they were promised, go figure. I shouldn't be that surprised though, after Hamlin's recent run in with RULERS of Staged Entertainment LLC and so many DRIVERS openly saying they have no problem biting their tongue when they have to and not tell the truth so they can continue to collect their multi-million dollar salaries. Drivers, its money, money, money. That's true of team owners as well though. Remember it's no longer RACING.

  9. Anonymous3:05 PM

    He is owed money by BK Racing and they don't want to pay up. Pretty simple in my book. They also owe/owed TRD a bunch of money too from my understanding. Hence why they are running around even further back this year than last year. Using old engines perhaps? BK went through some stuff with investors wanting out after the first part of last season so things have definately stumbled for them. I truly don't see them being around after this season or even for this complete season possibly. As far as Cassill as a driver, he didn't earn four championship rings with HMS as a test driver for the 48 because he sucks. He came into the sport at the wrong time when the economy tanked and he's been fighting hard to stay in it ever since. He just did some testing at Gresham for Earnhardt/Ganassi this past week. Teams seem to like the guy, but he doesn't have a big company or money backing him to pay for a ride like some guys have.

  10. Devine was talking in circles. That's what a salesman does, tries to sell you on an idea. Good for Landon, he didn't buy what BKR was selling.

    A contract's a contract, and Devine admits he tried to get around the contract by trying to pay Cassill outside of the contract. Then he tried to remove Cassill from some of the 2013 races and take 2013 pay so he could create a "pool".

    What quality driver's gonna want to work for owners like that? This isn't a minimum wage job at Burger King, it's big business. Jerking around people on a major league level is what lands your ass in court. Devine and Cassill will both get what's coming to them.

  11. Anonymous11:56 PM

    What did Cassill ever do to even end up in a Cup car? Let alone a half a million dollar contract?

  12. Anonymous10:45 AM

    To say 3 drivers who "shared rides last year" is a bit of a stretch. Cassill ran 36 of 36 races, Kvapil ran 35 of 36. The only time someone other then those 2 were out of the car and "sharing" rides was the season opener when they thought David Reutimann had a better chance to qualify for the Daytona 500 then Kvapil did and they put him in the car. Seems to me like BK wanted to keep Reutimann around and didn't have a car for him in 2013. Sounds like they didn't have money to pay a 3rd driver either so they wanted to pool the winnings together and pay 3 guys with the winnings of 2 cars.

  13. What's more likely: Cassill is trying to jerk BK around, or BK is/was trying to jerk Cassill around? Pretty hard for me to imagine it's the former.

  14. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Take a look at the BK owner closer. Just google him. Not much if anything positive. All about legal suits... seems to be his style and MO. Someone above called him a salesman... may want to consider con-man. Landon on the other hand has been a standup guy throughout his career... just talk to the folks around the tracks and pits. A deal is a deal...