Star Gazette - Elmira, New York
Cicci's partnership with Brian Conz reportedly is over
March 1, 2007
Frank Cicci Racing's much-publicized deal with driver Brian Conz and Conz's sponsor, the Scottish Rite Freemasonry, has apparently gone sour just two races into the NASCAR Busch Series season.
The Web site scenedaily.com reported Wednesday that team owner Frank Cicci Jr. is seeking to put veteran Jay Sauter in his No. 34 Chevy after alleging that Conz and Scottish Rite have defaulted on their contract with his team to run the full Busch Series schedule.
Cicci, an Elmira native whose team is competing in its 20th Busch Series season, has been left scrambling to find a new primary sponsor. Cicci, who was traveling to Mexico City on Wednesday to compete in this weekend's Telcel-Motorola Mexico 300 Busch Series, could not be reached for comment.
Conz and Cicci announced their initial agreement during a public appearance at the Scottish Rite House of the Temple in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6.
Conz's Web site now shows no affiliation with Frank Cicci Racing other than a few pictures of the car from the original D.C. appearance.
SceneDaily, the online presence of the weekly publication NASCAR Scene, reported a Web site posting attributed to Conz said he and Scottish Rite are negotiating with "new team affiliations."
"It's a bit disturbing to read the press release that BC Motorsports is seeking affiliation with another team when they still have a binding contract with FCR," Cicci said in a team statement.
Conz, who was waiting for approval from NASCAR, never turned a wheel in a race with Cicci. He was expected to make his debut with the team in the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on April 7.
The Frank Cicci Racing statement said Cicci has retained legal council against BC Motorsports and Brian Conz for default and non-payment according to the terms of a binding contract that commits them to a 35 NASCAR Busch Series race schedule with Frank Cicci Racing.
Steve Grissom drove the No. 34 Scottish Rite-sponsored Chevy in the season-opening Orbitz 300 at Daytona International Speedway last month. He finished 25th after starting 43rd with a past champion provisional.
Sauter, a veteran of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Busch Series, drove the car in the Starter Brothers 300 at California Speedway on Saturday with Del Taco Restaurants sponsorship. He started 13th and finished 28th.
Veteran road racer Brian Simo will drive the Cicci Racing car this weekend in Mexico.