The No. 31 car driven by Jeff Burton for Richard Childress Racing will be adorned with AT&T logos in Saturday night's All-Star Challenge after NASCAR's request for a stay to prevent the use of that sponsorship was denied by a federal judge Saturday morning.
NASCAR had a private hearing Saturday morning, a day after U.S. District senior judge Marvin Shoob issued a preliminary injunction that allowed AT&T, which merged last December with BellSouth and absorbed Cingular, to replace the Cingular logos with the AT&T globe.
RCR team members also are wearing uniforms with the AT&T logo.
NASCAR is not giving up and has taken another legal step, filing an emergency appeal with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. The hearing is expected to be heard next week.
Sprint Nextel, primary sponsor of the NASCAR Nextel Cup series, has joined NASCAR in the lawsuit.
"In response to the ruling by the court, we have formally filed to join this proceeding," Dean Kessel, director of Nextel Cup series marking for Sprint Nextel, said in a statement Saturday. "We intend to vigorously protect our sponsorship from these unfounded claims of AT&T."
AT&T filed suit against NASCAR on March 16 and 10 days later filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to have the Cingular logos replaced by the AT&T logos.
Cingular, like Alltel, had been grandfathered in when Nextel signed the estimated $700 million deal in 2003, but NASCAR contends that it made clear that Cingular would not be allowed to change its logos if it was acquired by another company.
AT&T contends that NASCAR said there were only two issues with which to contend -- the size of the brand could not change on the car, and the sponsor could not go to another team.
Angelique S. Chengelis is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage.