In The Tracks...
NASCAR Creates Charter Ownership Structure
February 10, 2016

NASCAR announced with many team owners a new nine-year deal changing Cup Series team ownership structure. It will be a charter system, which is much like a team franchise. NASCAR has granted 36 team charters, which is a number based on the amount of teams that qualified for charters based upon the agreed upon terms by NASCAR executives and the Race Team Alliance, a group of Cup Series owners that formed in July 2014 to provide the owners a unified voice.
Granted Charters
OrganizationCar #
BK Racing 23
BK Racing83
Chip Ganassi Racing1
Chip Ganassi Racing42
Circle Sport Racing95
Front Row Motorsports34
Front Row Motorsports38
Furniture Row Racing78
Germain Racing13
Go Fas Racing32
Hendrick Motorsports5
Hendrick Motorsports24
Hendrick Motorsports48
Hendrick Motorsports88
HScott Motorsports15
Joe Gibbs Racing11
Joe Gibbs Racing18
Joe Gibbs Racing20
JTG Daugherty Racing47
Michael Waltrip RacingTBD
Michael Waltrip RacingTBD
Premium Motorsports62
Richard Childress Racing3
Richard Childress Racing27
Richard Childress Racing31
Richard Petty Motorsports43
Richard Petty Motorsports44
Roush Fenway Racing6
Roush Fenway Racing16
Roush Fenway Racing17
Stewart-Haas Racing4
Stewart-Haas Racing10
Stewart-Haas Racing14
Team Penske2
Team Penske22
Tommy Baldwin Racing7

To qualify for a charter a team must have been operating full-time in NASCAR's Cup Series from 2013 through July 2015. This is how Michael Waltrip Racing qualified for their two charters, which they can now sell after they shut down at the conclusion of the 2015 season. A benefit to the teams is that the charters are transferrable and if a team should shut down for any reason they have equity in their team franchise or charter that they can sell.

In the past, teams only had their race shops to sell, that is if they owned it, and also their equipment and cars, which would sell at pennies on the dollar. Now, they can sell their team's charter for what is expected to be valued somewhere in the single digit millions of dollars. This is what Michael Waltrip Racing plans to do with their two charters. Currently, Joe Gibbs Racing's #19 team driven by Carl Edwards and Stewart Haas Racing's #41 team driven by Kurt Busch are without charters and have announced that they intend to purchase MWR's two charters.

Other than the value of the charter to sell, it benefits a team to own a charter as it guarantees a team a starting position in all 36 point races of the Cup Series season. This is beneficial in many ways to a team in earning points in all races. It also will be attractive to sponsors who will know they are guaranteed to be seen in the race.

The guarantee of a starting position in the races, does not designate where in the field a team will start or finish. Also, the 36 charter teams will be in the race, but who will fill the remaining 4 starting spots to fill the now 40 car field, which changes from 43 car field from past seasons. Qualifying will continue to determine the starting order of the races as well as pit road stall selection.

Charter teams will have to perform to retain their charter status. If a Charter team finishes as one of the lowest three Charter teams in the owner standings for three consecutive seasons NASCAR has the right to remove the charter.

All organizations will be capped at a maximum of four car teams. If an organization wants to run a car for a rookie to get experience then they must count that car as one of the four cars they are allowed.

Overall, the team owners seem happy and so does NASCAR so both sides got enough of what they wanted.

"To me, this is the second-most important thing that's ever happened in NASCAR, because now the drivers and owners and stuff now can really work across the aisle," said Richard Petty. Richard said the Charter deal is the second most important event in NASCAR only to the meetings in 1947 and 48 to form NASCAR.

"We always have said, because we mean it, that our owners and their success and their viability is very important to us," said Brian France. "That remains true yesterday. It remains true today. These agreements and this new course that we're on today gives us a chance to really back that up. We get to align our interests in a way we never thought we could. I am excited about that. We are going to be partners in a different way going forward. I couldn't be more thrilled."

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