Andretti Sports Marketing and Andretti Autosport have officially separated.
The announcement came a week after two former employees of Andretti Sports Marketing (ASM), which specializes in event management including IndyCar races at the Milwaukee Mile and NOLA Motorsports Park, filed a lawsuit against Andretti Autosport.
Former ASM President John Lopes and Vice Chairman and Treasurer Starke Taylor brought the lawsuit to court, saying that Michael Andretti, who serves as CEO of ASM as well as team principal for Andretti Autosport, improperly withheld payment to ASM following financial tribulation to holding company Andretti Autosport Holding Company (AAHC).
The suit alleged that Andretti Autosport has “less than $2 million in unencumbered assets and at least $7 million in debt, plus additional liabilities that may be in excess of $10 million.” The suit also alleged that the company had borrowed nearly $8 million to operate its four IndyCar teams and six other teams racing in various series. Lastly, the suit challenged Andretti’s removal of Lopes and Taylor from their positions as being enacted without merit.
Andretti originally lambasted the suit, calling it “disingenuous and self-serving as an attempt to benefit John Lopes and Starke Taylor at the expense of Andretti Autosport and its 120 employees.
“My family has strived to earn an exemplary reputation in all facets of our personal and professional lives,” Andretti continued. “We will not allow this reckless attempt at grabbing leverage to impact our family name.”
After a week of litigation, however, Andretti backed away from his comments, and supported spinning off ASM to Lopes and Taylor.
According to Andretti Autosport, all parties “went to extraordinary lengths to keep their employees, fans and the racing community in mind. There will be no further litigation and this matter will be dismissed.”
ASM will be renamed when the split is complete.
Andretti Autosport is in the midst of wrapping up its IndyCar season, with Marco Andretti currently sitting the highest in points of its four cars. He is currently seventh, 87 behind leader Juan Pablo Montoya.