NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Understanding the Kyle Busch Motorsports Fiasco

Almost two weeks ago, the Charlotte Observer reported several subcontractors claim they are owed for work done at the new Kyle Busch Motorsports facility that’s set to open for the team in June. Paul Davis of Creative Carpets LLC filed a lien as a last resort against the contractor that hired him, claiming he is owed $60,000 for installing nearly 20,000 square feet of carpet at the new facility.

“As a business, I can’t function,” Davis said. “I’m spending more of my time chasing my money than making it. And in this economy, I can’t do that.”

Once news of that lien came to light, other companies came forward claiming they too were owed large amounts of money. Ronnie Nelms of The Plumbing Shoppe Inc. says he’s put nearly two years worth of work into the facility and is still owed $30,000, and Rick Stamey says he’s owed more than $150,000 and is “out of money.” His power and gas at his home were cut off this week. Attorneys for both parties confirmed a “construction dispute” but wouldn’t comment on the specifics.

When the first news of this story broke, I was quick to blame Kyle Busch and expect him to fix all of this, but thanks to some great insight into contractors and subcontractors from fellow writer Vito Pugliese, I have a greater understanding of what the dispute actually entails. And because of that extra information, I actually feel bad for Busch in this case. He’s never really been a media darling and has drawn the ire of media and fans alike, but this is one thing that looks to be completely out of his hands.

The way it was explained to me leaves Busch out of the equation. Busch has an investment company that acts on his behalf in negotiations with L.B. Builders Group. L.B. Builders Group is then responsible for hiring and paying the people needed to get the work completed in a timely manner. Should those funds not get paid to the subcontractors, they’re left with bills they’re unable to pay, including a “line of credit” with their materials suppliers, which is the case with Mr. Davis.

The subcontractors say they’ve been told by L.B. Builders they haven’t been paid because Kyle Busch’s investment company is behind and owes nearly $3 million. As with most things in life, there are three sides to every story, and I’m not 100% sure L.B. Builders is telling the full story. A Better Business Bureau listing for the company shows “No Rating” because “it appears that this business in no longer in business.” And because of that, the claim that a Kyle Busch related investment firm owes them $3 million rings somewhat hollow with me.

I have to wonder if it’s actually L.B. Builders who is sitting on the money and not the investment company. And frankly, this creates a distraction that’s unnecessary for any team, much less one that’s working through its first year. Though the team isn’t in the new facility yet, there’s no doubt this is taking time and focus away from where it should be – the team.

Earlier this week, Busch was asked about the newest distractions for the team, and his response was “Actually, that got resolved… so, yeah, it’s been a challenge.”

I’m not convinced everything has been resolved just yet, but that’s certainly a relief for the team. They can again place their sole focus back where it belongs – on developing their Truck Series program. The building is currently scheduled to open this summer, barring any other distractions and delays.

Did You Know?

  • Austin Dillon will drive a special paint scheme tonight? The No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet features a tribute to seven-time champion and inaugural class Hall of Fame inductee Dale Earnhardt.
  • Busch will run all three races at Dover International Speedway this weekend? The driver/owner of the No. 18 led both practice sessions Thursday afternoon.
  • There are only 36 trucks on this week’s Truck Series entry list? However, only 34 trucks practiced during both sessions in preparation for the Dover 200.
  • James Buescher will run full-time for the rest of the Truck Series season? He was released from his Nationwide Series ride with Phoenix Racing earlier this week and will finish out the season with Turner Motorsports behind the wheel of the No. 31 Wolf Pack Rentals Chevrolet.

Quotable

“Dover may measure one mile in length, but it’s every bit as much a superspeedway as a track twice its size. The banking ensures that Dover is a self-cleaning track. The accidents always start in the high groove and finish on the apron.” – Wayne Auton, Series Director

“Dover is a tough track and earns the name Monster Mile.” – Donnie Neuenberger

“It’s like a souped-up Bristol. You can run two-wide, sometimes three-wide, depending on how much rubber gets laid down.” – Aric Almirola

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