Being a former development driver for Hendrick Motorsports has to look pretty good on a resume for any NASCAR driver. For Landon Cassill, it probably seems like an eternity since he drove in top-tier equipment.
Cassill now drives for a start-and-park team, Circle Sport Racing. When they race the full races, well let’s just say it probably isn’t too fun for a guy that racked up six top-10’s and pole in his first 26 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series where he drove for Hendrick’s team as well as JR Motorsports. Though he didn’t make the most of his opportunities with the team, Cassill showed that if he drove in a car full-time, he would likely find success behind the wheel.
Instead, he ran a few part-time schedules in the sport’s second tier series and didn’t win anything except for a pole at New Hampshire. However, after not finding victory lane, Hendrick released Cassill who ended up taking a bunch of start-and-park jobs in the Sprint Cup Series just to say that he can make races at the highest level in NASCAR. Eventually, James Finch gave him a chance to run the Phoenix Racing car, but his best finish was 12th at Michigan which was has been one of the few highlights of his career to this point.
Once Red Bull Racing closed and BK Racing opened their doors, Cassill was quickly announced as one of the team’s two drivers. It seemed like a good deal for Cassill considering Red Bull’s team won a few races and ran in the top-20 plenty of times. Even with their equipment, BK Racing and Cassill couldn’t seem to click last year. It proved that Cassill can compete slightly with an upstart team, but that was about it.
His best finish was 18th three times. Other than that, Cassill only finished inside of the top-20 on four other occasions, everything else was in the mid-late 20’s and early 30’s. It wasn’t what either side was looking for.
Even though it seemed late for the team to resign Cassill, he announced that he would be returning to the team in early January. All of a sudden, he made the decision to leave the team about a week and a half later. It came to a shock for many race fans which were looking forward to seeing Cassill return to the No. 83 car. For a while it looked like he would be without a ride, but he ended up taking a step back, going to a low class team.
Now, Cassill may have unveiled why he left the team. Cassill is suing BK Racing for $205,000 which he allegedly wasn’t paid from race winnings along with other fees he should’ve collected in the 2012 season. He’s also asking for an undisclosed amount of money for not being told he wouldn’t return to the team just a few weeks before the season began, preventing him the opportunity to look for a competitive ride in 2013. Though the team has until May to file a response to the law suit in the North Carolina Superior Court, the wise decision would be to get it over and done with as soon as possible.
Even though it seems legit, Cassill could be using this as a way to get attention to himself? Maybe he’s looking for a law firm to sponsor his team for a few races. However, it’s unlikely that it’s a publicity stunt simply because no driver is dumb enough to leave a team just weeks before the season is going to start and no good rides are available. Cassill’s career could be ruined all because of BK Racing’s selfish decision to turn their back on Cassill just to sign former Michael Waltrip Racing driver, David Reutimann, in place of Cassill.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR and can be reached via e-mail at Joseph.Wolkin@gmail.com.