The Response - From the ASA LM Series
To: All ASA Late Model Teams and Members
Subject: Response to ASA Lawsuit.
Date: Tuesday December 4, 2007
It is unfortunate that Mr. Huth decided to air his dirty laundry in public, which has made me respond in kind to his actions. We ASA Late Model Series feel Mr. Huth's Lawsuit is frivolous and without merit.
We fully expect to win in court and also counter sue Mr. Huth for damages caused by his reckless and slanderous allegations.
While this news maybe upsetting to some let me assure everyone that Mr. Huth and his associates cannot take our name (ASA Late Model Series) nor our business (ASA Late Model Series LLC) away from us.
We in fact, are pursuing facts related to Mr. Huth's claims of ownership to all things ASA including the American Speed Association.
We plan to present evidence that will show Steve Dale never fulfilled his contract to purchase the American Speed Association from Rex Robbins and that several judgments have been placed against Steve Dale relating to such.
The ASA Late Model Series LLC was formed by Steve Dale and Ron Varney as a separate business and was not nor was ever a part of the American Speed Association.
So once again Mr. Huth's claims of ownership of the trademark are without merit. Mr. Huth may have a bigger problem on his hands trying to defend his purchase of a company from Steve Dale that Mr. Dale never paid for.
If you should have any further questions or comments please feel to contact me personally.
ASA Late Model Series
Presented by GM Performance Parts
Battle Over ASA Name Gets Heated by Mike Twist
Who Owns The Name? The Debate Gets Nasty with Lawsuits and Press Releases
The ASA Late Model Series, which is run by the Varney family, and the various other ASA racing series that operate under the watch of Dennis Huth might share a name (for now at least), but there is no mistaking them for being one big happy family. In fact, the two factions are more like a couple of Presidental candidates - trading barbs and each having a loyal base of devotees who do a lot more of the same on Internet message boards and in the streets.
The center of this controvery revolves around the actual name ASA, which has stood for American Speed Association for decades. It used to be that "ASA" meant only the former ASA National Tour - a legendary series that graduated stars like Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Alan Kulwicki, Dick Trickle and Jimmie Johnson to the big time, while making heroes out of short trackers like Butch Miller, Mike Eddy, Bob Senneker, Gary St. Amant and Kevin Cywinski. That series went belly-up under the ownership of Steve Dale after the 2004 season. Prior to that, the series had licensed the name "ASA Late Model Series" to Varney's group. After the ASA National Tour dissolved, Huth's company bought the trademark, supoosedly from Dale, at auction.
To clarify for the fans at home:
- Varney's ASA Late Model organization operates that ASA Late Model Challenge Series, ASA Late Model North Series and ASA Late Model South Series.
- Racing Speed Associates (Huth's Group) has a role in several tours - including the ASA Mmeber Track program, ASA Midwest Tour, ASA Northwest Tour, ASA Speed Truck Challenge, ASA Northwest Sprint Car Series ASA Southern Modified Race Tour, ASA Minnesota Challenge Series and the new-for-2008 ASA Southeast Tour.
Today, both sides are claiming ownership of the ASA name and trademark. The fight is getting nasty too, with Huth's organization filing a lawsuit against the Varney group on Tuesday, December 4th.
Speed51.com will keep on top on the situation and proceedings reguarding this short track battle, and we will no doubt have more to write about this matter. But to bring everyone up to speed, we'll let both side express their opinions in their own words. Press releases that were issued by both sides after the suit was filed appear below:
Dennis Huth's organization oversses several ASA tours - including the ASA Midwest Tour (Pictured), ASA Northwest Tour and the new for 2008 ASA Southeast Tour.
The ASA Late Model Series has attracted plenty of entries over the past several seasons with their Challenge, North and South divisions.
The Lawsuit - From Racing Speed Associates
December 3, 2007 - Daytona Beach, FL - Racing Speed Associates, LLC today filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Louis R. Varney, Jr. and ASA Late Model Series, LLC seeking to invalidate and cancel the ASA Late Model Series trademark registration.
The lawsuit alleges Varney illegally acquired the trademark registration by claiming ownership; in fact Varney has only been granted a license from its owner to use the trademark.
Dennis Huth, Managing Member of Racing Speed Associates said, “This lawsuit was necessitated when Mr. Varney started a campaign of misinformation about Racing Speed Associates rights of ownership to the ASA Racing name and ASA family of trademarks by threatening track operators with lawsuits if they did business with us. It’s unfortunate but we were forced to take action in order to protect our name and business reputation.”
Racing Speed Associates acquired all of the rights to the ASA family of trademarks, including American Speed Association, ASA Racing and ASA Late Model Series earlier this year from American Speed Association, LLC who most people in the racing world know was the successor to the ASA Racing founder Rex Robbins.
“We twice warned Mr. Varney that he was overstepping his bounds with his campaign against our client,” stated William L. Niro, attorney for Racing Speed Associates. “We tried to avoid litigation but Mr. Varney, by ignoring our requests to stop his activities, left us no choice. You cannot permit a licensee of a trademark to claim ownership in the mark and then seek to use it against the legitimate business activities of the rightful owner of that mark.”
ASA Racing is a leading auto racing sanctioning body that is comprised of 27 short tracks around the United States under the ASA Member Track program, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series.