Former Red Bull Racing driver Scott Speed has obtained an order of attachment against the team, placing a lien on its real property in North Carolina until Speed's lawsuit against the team is resolved.
The order, covering the Red Bull shop in Mooresville, N.C., and the property on which it sits, was served Tuesday. The property was purchased for approximately $3.3 million.
Such orders can be issued only in very limited circumstances in North Carolina.
After Red Bull fired Speed, he sued the organization in December, claiming breach of contract and seeking damages of at least $6.5 million. In March, an N.C. judge denied Red Bulls request to dismiss the suit.
A discovery motion in Speeds case is scheduled to be heard 10 a.m. on July 11 in Iredell County Superior Court in Statesville, N.C.
William Bray, Speeds attorney in the case, said his client sought the order because of Red Bulls recent announcement that it was looking to end its ownership role in NASCAR at the end of the 2011 season.
It certainly appears to us, looking at the many options Red Bull has discussed, that one of them may well entail the sale of its assets, Bray said.
Were simply trying to ensure Scott is able to collect should his lawsuit prevail.
Red Bull can contest the order, but as of Friday had not done so.
Through a spokesperson, the team declined to comment.
Speed emerged as Red Bull's choice after an extensive talent search for an American driver to field in world competition, then Speed spent seven years with the energy drink maker's organization.
After posting disappointing results in Formula One in 2006 and 2007, Speed was moved into Automobile Racing Club of America and NASCAR's Trucks series competition in 2008 to prepare for Cup racing.
Speed finished 35th in the Cup standings in 2009 and was 30th last season. In 76 series starts, he had one top-five and three top-10 finishes.
Red Bull's Formula One operation continues to excel. After winning the world championship in 2010, the team's Sebastian Vettel leads this season's standings comfortably.
Red Bull's other F1 driver, Mark Webber, is tied for second this season after finishing third in 2010.