NASCAR sues AT&T for $100 million over sponsorship agreement

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) - NASCAR filed a $100 million counter claim against AT&T Inc. on Sunday, accusing the wireless provider of interfering with its exclusive sponsorship agreement with rival wireless company Nextel.

NASCAR filed the suit electronically in U.S. district court in Atlanta, alleging breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful interference with Nextel.

The two sides have been battling all season over NASCAR's refusal to allow AT&T to put its logos on Jeff Burton's car.

Burton and his Richard Childress Racing team have a sponsorship agreement with Cingular, which has since been purchased by AT&T.

NASCAR would not allow the logos to be changed, citing its agreement with Nextel.

Cingular and Alltel were grandfathered into the sport when Nextel entered in 2004, but no changes are permitted to their deals and no other companies are allowed into the sport.

AT&T sued, and U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob in Atlanta issued a preliminary injunction last month that allowed the Cingular logos to be replaced.

He also barred NASCAR and any entity affiliated with it from interfering with AT&T's rights as primary sponsor of the car in the Nextel Cup series.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)