Richard Childress Racing settles lawsuit with Matt McCall, Jamie McMurray’s new crew chief

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Matt McCall and Richard Childress Racing have reached a settlement in their dispute about McCall leaving RCR to become Jamie McMurray’s crew chief.

According to a report by Bob Pockrass of SportingNews.com, the two sides reached agreement thus avoiding the next scheduled hearing date, Feb. 10 in North Carolina Superior Court, which would have been three days before Speedweeks begins at Daytona International Speedway.

RCR sought a temporary injunction prohibiting McCall from assuming the role of McMurray’s crew chief with Chip Ganassi Racing. McCall left RCR at the end of the 2014 season.

RCR contended McCall violated terms of his existing contract with the company, as well as potentially took proprietary information from RCR.

McCall served as lead engineer on series runner-up Ryan Newman’s team last season.

RCR claimed that even though he didn’t have the title, many of McCall’s duties as lead engineer on Newman’s team were similar to those of a crew chief. McCall had contended was not the case.

The two sides indicated in a Jan. 16 filing with the court that they were closing in on a settlement, which was reached recently.

“Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing have reached an agreement pursuant to which Mathew McCall will remain the crew chief for Ganassi’s No. 1 Sprint Cup team,” a RCR statement said. “Both organizations believe it is important for NASCAR teams to work together to honor and protect their respective proprietary and trade secret technologies, as well as one another’s contractual commitments.

“The terms of the settlement are designed to further that objective. The remaining terms of the agreement shall remain confidential.”

McCall expressed satisfaction with the settlement during last week’s NASCAR media tour.

“It’s all behind us and we’re moving forward,” he said.

McCall had one more year remaining on his contract with RCR through 2015. But he left RCR to go to CGR, contending the new job as a crew chief was not “identical or similar to” his engineer role at RCR and did not violate the non-compete clause in his contract.

A North Carolina Superior Court judge originally ruled against RCR late last month.

MORE: Court rules against Richard Childress Racing in lawsuit vs. former team engineer Matt McCall

McCall said in his lawsuit that he made $115,000 plus bonuses/incentives as a lead engineer at RCR.

As a crew chief at CGR, McCall told the court he would be making three times his RCR salary, another argument he cited in claiming there indeed was a significant distinction between the duties of his former job and his new job.

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Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”