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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Ray Evernham seeking $19.3 million

By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ray Evernham has filed a lawsuit seeking $19.3 millon from the man who purchased the majority interest of Evernham Motorsports from him in 2007.

The suit, filed on Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Mecklenburg County, was filed against Booth Creek Management and Gillett GEMS, LLC for money not paid in the sale.

Gillett GEMS, LLC is a corporation of four members that includes George Gillett Jr., who purchased Evernham Motorsports, which later became Gillett Evernham Motorsports and then Richard Petty Motorsports.

Evernham charges in the suit that Gillett breached an agreement to pay the remaining 20 percent owed for the Sprint Cup organization.

"We have diligently worked to resolve this matter in good faith without resorting to legal action," Evernham said Wednesday in a statement. "This matter has been pending for a period of time and we did not want to disrupt any excitement of the beginning of the race season with this unfortunate situation.

"We were unable to come to a fair resolution for the amounts due to me related to my sale of the previous RPM race team. Like many other vendors and creditors, my claims have been left unpaid."

Gillett, on the brink of financial ruin over the sale of his Liverpool soccer team, late in 2010 reached a financial agreement that gave NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty control of the four-car operation that has since shrunk to two. Evernham at the time still owned 20 percent of the company.

Evernham, after being released from his non-compete clause in the terms of his contract with Gillett, recently accepted a position as a consultant for Hendrick Performance Parts.

Evernham won three Sprint Cup titles as the crew chief for Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.