Kahne's attorneys ask judge to throw out Ford's suit

Updated: July 19, 2005, 10:38 AM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Attorneys for Kasey Kahne asked a federal judge to throw out Ford's breach-of-contract lawsuit against the NASCAR driver, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland in Detroit was to hear arguments on the request Wednesday, attorney David Baum said from New York.

Ford sued Kahne in Wayne County Circuit Court in July 2004, the county where the Michigan automaker is headquartered. The company claimed he signed a contract that obligated him to drive Fords for Robert Yates Racing and appear in promotional activities. But in October 2003, the suit alleged, Kahne bolted Ford and joined a Dodge team owned by Ray Evernham.

The lawsuit was transferred to federal court shortly after it was filed because the parties are from different states, Baum said. Kahne lives in Huntersville, N.C.

Ford has called the suit "unfortunate," and said it believes in honoring contracts.

NASCAR views its teams as independents and drivers as contracted workers hired by each team. Disputes are worked out among each other, with NASCAR having no influence in the results.

Kahne, 25, was named NASCAR Rookie of the Year last season after finishing 13th in the points standings. This season, he is ranked 12th among money leaders but wasn't in the top 20 in the points standings.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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