: So what did you do then?

KN: At that point, my second big mistake. One of the guys who was complaining the loudest about not getting paid, and rightfully so was Rickie Smith. I was standing in a furniture store in O’Fallon, Mo., on the phone with Sheikh Khalid. He is in a panic because he wants Rickie Smith to work on his team again but Rickie has signed a contract to work with the guys from Dubai. Khalid said, “If anybody can talk him out of that, it’s you, Kenny, it’s you.” He said if you do this for me, tell Jess to pick out any kind of car she wants and that will be your bonus. A Range Rover, by the way, was Sheikh Khalid’s suggestion because that’s what Posh Spice drove or some bullshit.

So I talk Rickie Smith out of that contract. Rickie will tell you that I talked him out of that contract. Rickie then signed a contract with Sheikh Khalid. It got to the point where I’m arranging with some guy Joseph whoever, with the Qatar embassy here in the States. I’m arranging money to get to Rickie all the while they still owe us. They flew some guy to North Carolina twice trying to find Rickie Smith to hand him the money and couldn’t do it. Finally, somehow, Rickie gets his money.

Rickie had won the Battle for the Belts. So, while all this negotiation is going on, Rickie says, What about the money for the Battle for the Belts? I’m like, Rickie, he hasn’t paid me yet. Rickie says, Well, I’m not signing any f*cking contract with him (Sheikh Khalid) unless I get my (Battle for the Belts) money.

So Don Greenbaum wires a separate $20,000. I get a cashier’s check and carry it straight over to Rickie Smith at Gateway Motorsports Park ‘cause he was in town for the NHRA Pro Mod event. Hand him the check which although I don’t have a record of it, I know Rickie will verify that he got it.

: What about the money for the Battle of the Belts? Did it ever come?

KN: No! Promise after promise after promise. Finally, a month has gone by. I’m getting the sh*t kicked out of me, and rightfully so by the racers, the fans and everybody else... some of the checks were bouncing because the money had been promised to come. “It’s coming today,” Don Greenbaum said more than once, “Send those checks out because it’s coming today.”

So, like a dumb-ass, I sent the checks out, but no f**king money. Let me be perfectly clear here -- all of that is on and only me! 100% of it is on me! The only thing I can say unequivocally is that Kenny Nowling, Jack Switzer, Jessica Nowling or Kim Switzer never received one penny of that money. We are all in debt because of this.

: How did your investors react when the Battle for the Belts and the rest of the money never came? Did they blame the Sheikh?

KN: From Mitchell Scruggs, through Jason Scruggs, (I was told), “My daddy doesn’t want you to say anything publicly about the Sheikh. If you do he thinks that you’ll never get the money.” I say, “Well, it’s easy for him to say that to me, but the problem is that I’m the one getting called by racers and everybody else 50 times a day. Not him, not you; me! I’ve got the Bobby Bennetts and the Ian Tochers calling me: “We’ve got to write something, we’ve got to say something. What’s going on? We (the media) crucified the X-DRL for the same thing.”

: So, were you ever able to talk directly to Sheikh Khalid after the season was over about getting what you say was owed you?

KN: Yes. Jason Scruggs, who had been on the phone with me a week prior, on a Friday afternoon had gotten Sheikh Khalid on the phone. Because Sheikh Khalid wasn’t taking anybody’s phone calls, because we’re right back into the ‘he owes us money’ part. Jason got Sheikh Khalid on the phone with me. We discussed it front to back.

I sent Sheikh Khalid an email and Jason the same email: what Sheikh Khalid (had) agreed to, what Sheikh Khalid (had) paid, and what Sheikh Khalid still owed. At one point Sheikh Khalid asked Jason if he would just pay the money and he (Sheikh Khalid) would pay him back. Jason respectfully declined. Sheikh Khalid then said, “You will have the money Monday.”

So here I am still, telling everybody on the radio on SHRA... I’m carrying Sheikh Khalid’s water and to a certain extent I’m carrying Jason’s water because Jason was on that phone call. To this very minute of doing this interview he (Jason Scruggs) has never publicly acknowledged the fact that he knows I didn’t get paid that money. He was on the phone when Khalid said, “You will have the money Monday. This is what you’re still owed, this is what I said I’d pay you, this is what you’ll get.”

Unbeknownst to Jason, when I called him back after we got off of that phone call with Sheikh Khalid, I was going to have a little security, cover my ass if you will, so I had my friend, racer Steve Vick on a three-way call so that he could listen in, so that somebody other than me or the Sheikh and Jason Scruggs knew that I hadn’t gotten this money.

I called Jason Scruggs and said, “Jason, you heard it from his own mouth” – Steve Vick is listening in the whole time – “What am I supposed to do?” Scruggs says, “He says you’ll get the money, you’ll get the money. I just know you will. He’s not going to let his reputation (suffer).”