Why NHRA is not likely to settle the PSTA lawsuit


By now you've probably all heard the rumor that the National Hot Rod Association is going to settle the rag-tag, three-year-old Arizona civil lawsuit against them by giving up some of their most prized possessions: Indianapolis Raceway Park and millions of dollars. That would be as foolish as if Jay Leno quit The Tonight Show tomorrow instead of in five years. Based upon available Maricopa County Arizona Court documents, one of Agent 1320's operatives with some legal background submitted the following brief. The operative's notes are in brackets.


1. Thirty-two named plaintiffs filed the Civil Complaint Oct. 19, 2001 against one lonely defendant, NHRA. [Pile it on!]

2. Six additional attorneys from out of state were recognized by the jurisdiction in Arizona to appear on behalf of NHRA. In short order, they file a Motion to Dismiss. [Not exactly defenseless.]

3. The Plaintiffs (PSTA) fail to state a cla im upon which relief can be granted by the courts. [In other words, THEY DON'T WANT ANY MONEY. That's curious since civil court is usually about collecting "damages."]

4. By filing the lawsuit in Arizona, perhaps the Plaintiffs hoped it would be too inconvenient for the California-based NHRA to defend itself. NHRA cited Forum Non Conveniens as a reason to dismiss the case to highlight that point, but NHRA could have used that same issue as a basis for a Change of Venue to California Courts. Since no such motion has been filed to date, it can be inferred that a Maricopa County, Arizona jury pool is just as favorable to NHRA. [Get ready to rumble.]

5. The Plaintiffs (PSTA) request punitive damages. [How do they plan to punish the NHRA without making them pay money? Force Tom Compton to wear a sandwich board in downtown Phoenix that says "Sorry we F'ed the Trucks"?]

6. February 26, 2002: the parties agree to file documents under seal and for protective orders after a motion from NHRA. [What kind of smear-job were the Plaintiffs trying to do through their pleadings?]

7. February 27, 2002: Plaintiff RW Performance Inc. asks to be dropped from the lawsuit. [This is when the Plaintiffs begin to start dropping like flies.]

8. May 8, 2002: Jim Kennedy, Jim Kennedy Motorsports, Inc., J Scott Enterprises are substituted in name under Pro Stock Truck Association and no longer listed as individual Plaintiffs.

9. May 21, 2002: The Court addresses the NHRA's Motion to Dismiss and Motion for More Definite Statement as follows: The Court cannot conclude "beyond doubt" that Plaintiffs (PSTA) will be unable to prove any set of facts in support of their claims. Defendant (NHRA) is obviously free to file dispositive motions in the future if, after disclosures and discovery, Plaintiffs appear unable to support some or all of their claims with competent evidence.

[Translation: Plaintiffs have produced no evidence to support their claims. NHRA, wait and see if they come up with something before the deadline, before asking for another dismissal. There's lots of time!]

10. July 8, 2002: The court grants part of the NHRA motion to request that the Plaintiffs (PSTA) make a more definite statement about what they want from the NHRA. If not money, then what?

11. December 20, 2002: Plaintiff Price Racing dba DBP Enterprises Inc. asks to be dropped from the lawsuit.

12. March 6, 2003: Plaintiffs amend the Complaint to drop most of the individually named Plaintiffs. The world does not need to know how many are dropping out, okay?

13. March 11, 2003: Plaintiffs Lester McGaha and Lester McGaha Enterprises ask to be dropped from the lawsuit. Still, some Plaintiffs choose to make a statement.

14. April 28, 2003: Plaintiff Race Car Technologies asks to be dropped from the lawsuit.

15. October 23, 2003: Plaintiffs Joe Pigford, Full Boar Motorsports, Robert Yonke, Robert Yonke Motorsports ask to be dropped from the lawsuit.

16. November 18, 2003: The Official Court Reporters transcripts are put under seal. [Sensitive stuff, huh?]

17. December 8, 2003: NHRA claims that Pro Stock Truck Association does not have the capacity to sue. [Who is left behind PSTA to ride what once was a fireball - now a matchstick - against NHRA?]

18. The trial is set for January 10, 2006. [Will the match even be lit by then?]

What do you think? Send your email to response@dragracingonline.com.
Previous Stories
Will Pro classes strike NHRA? — 9/17/04
Chunking tire problem continues — 9/9/04
NHRA's Task Force starts to work — 7/29/04
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