CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- One day after finishing a frustrating season with HScott Motorsports, Clint Bowyer sued the team for at least $2.223 million, alleging it missed two monthly payments and a commission for bringing sponsorship to the team.
Bowyer, through his business arm, Clint Bowyer Racing Inc., filed the lawsuit for breach of contract and fraud against team owner Harry Scott and HScott Motorsports on Nov. 21 in North Carolina Superior Court.
Bowyer finished 27th in the 2016 standings, a disappointing season for all sides hoping that the one-year deal signed in September 2015 could boost HScott's profile while Bowyer prepared for his 2017 ride at Stewart-Haas Racing, as the replacement for the retiring Tony Stewart.
Bowyer alleges in the lawsuit that Scott, who is expected to shut down the Cup team, is using money owed to Bowyer to pay other creditors and "repeatedly failed to make the scheduled payments" owed on the 20th of each month.
"[Scott and the team] are in financial distress and in negotiations with various creditors to settle substantial debts ... all the while [they] refuse to pay [Bowyer] for services performed," the complaint states.
In the lawsuit, Bowyer alleges that Scott has not paid money owed to him Oct. 20 and Nov. 20 for a total of $1.2 million, and that he is also owed at least $1 million from sponsorship of at least five companies -- 5-Hour Energy, Maxwell House, Peak, Visine and AAA Insurance -- that Bowyer claims he brought to the team.
"We are aware of the lawsuit," HScott Motorsports spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "Obviously we won't speak about the details of the suit, but I can say that overall it is frivolous and capricious.
"It is also important to know that Mr. Scott has used personal resources to loan money to the race team to support it, and to allege that he has taken money out of the race team is simply false. Mr. Scott and the team will aggressively defend itself and will ultimately prevail."
Bowyer obtained an order of attachment, which requires Scott to hold on to at least $2.223 million in property while the lawsuit makes its way through court.
If HScott shuts down as expected, it does have one charter -- NASCAR's form of a franchise -- from its two-car 2016 operation that it can sell.
"This has been an ongoing issue with HScott Motorsports for some time," Bowyer attorney Robert Muckenfuss said in a statement. "We were forced to file the lawsuit after the season because several payments had not been made and we were made aware that Scott was liquidating assets but still not paying Clint. We were also made aware that Scott was selling the No. 15 [car] charter and asking NASCAR for approval to transfer the charter with no intention of paying Clint.
"This is why we obtained the attachment order to place a lien on his assets. Scott should not be permitted to profit from selling the Charter while refusing to pay his driver. Clint was able to bring substantial sponsorship revenue to Scott for the 2016 season due to Clint's stature and reputation in the sport, and Clint is just asking that Scott honor his agreement."