Although the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an injunction permitting the logos, AT&T still has time to request a reconsideration of the ruling, and until that process is over, it can keep the logos on the car. AT&T is expected to ask for the reconsideration Friday.
"This weekend, we will be running the car with the AT&T brand," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said late Thursday afternoon while declining to discuss the company's legal strategy. "The legal process is moving along. I can't predict what will happen after [this weekend].
"We respect the decision the court has made, and we're looking at a variety of options."
AT&T has argued that NASCAR's grandfather clause for telecommunications sponsors, enacted in 2004 when Nextel became the series sponsor, allows it to change the logos from Cingular to AT&T on the Jeff Burton car.
NASCAR claims it does not allow for the change, which AT&T wants since it was involved in a merger with Cingular in December 2006.
The original injunction was issued on the basis that AT&T was considered a third-party beneficiary of the grandfather cause included in RCR's annual licensing contract with NASCAR.
The appellate court ruled that because the grandfather clause was written to allow RCR to keep a sponsor - and not for the benefit of Cingular (now AT&T) to be on a car - that AT&T was not part of the contract and could not sue under breach-of-contract grounds.
Once the injunction phase is over, NASCAR and AT&T eventually could go to trial over the issue. NASCAR has countersued AT&T for $100 million.