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Gaulding, BK Racing in contract dispute

When both sides came together, [BK Racing owner Ron] Devine claimed they had a $2 million agreement for GGR Enterprises to pay BK Racing for Gaulding to stay in the car for the year. The agreement was broken down into a series of monthly payments based on GGR's ability to bring sponsors to the table.

It was a simple agreement that's seen more often in modern-day NASCAR, a deal based on money and not performance.

GGR Enterprises would bring funding to the table each week, effectively purchasing a spot in the car, and Devine would get a cut while the teenager gained more experience behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, Devine said GGR Enterprises started defaulting on payments within a few short months. Gaulding and GGR Enterprises were unable to pay their sponsor fees on time in March and April, according to the team's financial records. In March, they paid the $200,000 owed to BK Racing, though it was seven days late. In April, the check to BK Racing was 11 days past due.

Gaulding then came up $160,000 short in May. As a result, Devine sent Gaulding and his representatives an amendment on May 4.

"GGR and Gaulding waive and release all leaves of action against BK Racing," Devine reported the amendment stated. "In the event that GGR is not timely and properly paid the funds owed to BKR, pursuant to the sponsor agreement, I could remove Gaulding from the [No.] 23 car. Pay no fee or consideration to Gaulding for his driving services unless and until all funds from the sponsor agreement have been paid in full.

"I could terminate the sponsor agreement and/or the driver agreement at any time because if they are not current, we had that right. I could add, modify, replace the sponsor logo on the [No.] 23 for all the remaining races."

Devine was making the change fearful that any sponsorship money GGR was collecting was getting pocketed by the Gaulding camp; none of it was making its way to the owner himself. This amendment was a way to force their hand while getting money back Devine claimed he was owed.

"What that says is, no longer does the money go to them and they give it to us, but now the money comes directly to us from the sponsor or anyplace they can get the money," he explained. "It also says all future post-contract agreements for sponsorship to BK's No. 23 at any time in which GGR and Gaulding are in breach, BKR has the rights to take action if it deems necessary."

Not only did the Gauldings not respond to this new contract, funds for June and July were also not paid.

Devine said Gaulding owes him $560,000 in sponsorship money, while owing him $1.36 million overall. The original contract was worth $2 million and only $640,000 was paid.

So on June 5, Devine decided to terminate Gaulding's contract, releasing the 19-year-old from the team.

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