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Hoosier Tire legal victory has broad implications

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Lakeville-based Hoosier Tire won a victory in the antitrust case brought by Pittsburgh-based Specialty Tires of America, which objected to exclusive contracts for the supplying of racing tires.

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit confirmed July 23 that single-tire or “spec tire” rules in dirt oval-track racing were legal under the antitrust laws, and that Hoosier Tire had not violated the law in contracting to supply the tires. The court affirmed the dismissal of all claims against it and co-defendant Dirt Motor Sports, a sanctioning body for dirt races.

The court ruled that sanctioning bodies should have the discretion to determine their own rules, including specifying a single supplier’s products be used in the race.

The ruling could have an impact on other sanctioning bodies.

“The importance of this case goes far beyond the parties involved … the result and reasoning could have an effect beyond the world of dirt oval track racing (or even motorsports in general),” the ruling noted. 

“This ruling is a win not just for Hoosier,” said Dennis Sherman, Hoosier Tire vice president of sales. “But is also a win for motorsports generally. Sanctioning bodies can now choose the rules they believe will be best for their sport without the concern of having to defend an antitrust suit at every turn.”
 

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