Federal Court Clears NASCAR of Antitrust Violation Claims

Following a complaint filed by the Kentucky Speedway in which NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) were accused of violating federal antitrust laws, by keeping the Kentucky off the racing circuit, a federal court ruled against the plaintiff, finding no proof of antitrust law violation.

"We question Kentucky Speedway's allegation that NASCAR's refusal to grant a Sprint Cup race constitutes an antitrust injury because there are many considerations relevant to the quintessential business judgment of whether expanding the Sprint Cup to northern Kentucky makes economic sense in developing the NASCAR brand on a national basis," judge Ronald Lee Gilman said in the ruling.

The saga began back in 2005, when Kentucky Speedway sued NASCAR following the rejection of the Sparta track in northern Kentucky. Although the tri-oval 1.5 mile long track hosted a Nationwide Series race last year, with some 70,000 people attending, it would appear that now no Sprint Cup race will take place here.

"We are extremely pleased with [Friday's] decision by the appeals court," Lesa France Kennedy, ISC CEO said according to NASCAR. "This ruling again reaffirms the validity of a business model that has significantly benefited the sport's fans, business partners and other industry constituents for more than 50 years."

"Further, this confirms NASCAR, much like other sport properties such as the NFL, MLB and the NBA, has the right to host its events when and where it decides is best for the sport and its fans."

Jerry Carroll, the founder of the Kentucky Speedway, said that probably the case against NASCAR and ISC is now over, but a future course of action against the two bodies is not completely ruled out. There are only two appeals left, one in front of all of the 24 appeals court judges and one to the US Supreme Court.

"We've carried it out. We still think we're right but the judges have talked and made their decision. This is a mental load and a load that I've carried. I think I'm ready to wrap it up and let the chips fall. Everybody's main goal is we fulfill our dream and bring a Cup race to the state of Kentucky," Carroll said.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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