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Chris Rice DENIES Kaulig Merger Rumors: “We’re Going to be Here a Long Time.”

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What’s Happening?

Kaulig Racing Team President Chris Rice joined Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Thursday, and he addressed recent rumors of Kaulig Racing merging with another race team like Trackhouse. He flatly denied that he was merging with another race team like Trackhouse, but he also mentioned his team “Will always throw diversions so people talk about us.” He also teased that Kaulig has something interesting up its’ sleeve for 2025.

  • Kaulig Racing has struggled in 2024 with only one full-time driver and their chartered entries sitting 30th and 32nd in Owner’s Points. This comes after joining an alliance with Trackhouse this off-season to house SVG in the Xfinity Series.
  • This alliance and Trackhouse’s interest in expanding its Cup Series program sparked rumors of a merger between the two. However, were those rumors just one of Kaulig’s “Diversions”?
  • Fans are not sure they believe Rice’s comments. Kaulig is notoriously secretive with their plans, and their recent performance suggests that big changes need to be made.

What Rice Had to Say

Chris Rice was asked directly about Kaulig’s outlook for 2024 and immediately went to the rumors. However, he also indicated that the team has something interesting up their sleeve.

The fans can’t see me right now because we’re on radio, but, you see our name that’s on [my shirt], and that’s what it’s going to be. We’re not merging, we’re not doing anything like that. We’re very close to Trackhouse, and we will be close to Trackhouse for a while, but, we’re also close to RCR if you want to look at it that way. We knew 2024 was going to be tough on us because it’s what we called a ‘Gap year’ for Kaulig Racing, and we have some excitig stuff that’s going on behind the scenes.

Chris Rice

That’s a pretty flat denial from Rice. It also lines up with what sources recently told us the rumor was about the SHR charters. Trackhouse would have a reason to purchase two of SHR’s four charters if a merger with Kaulig wasn’t in the cards.

However, it’s what he said afterward raised eyebrows. Kaulig is notoriously tight-lipped about its plans, and it likes to drum up as much interest as possible in whatever Kaulig Racing does, and Rice admitted to that tactic.

We’re very tight-lipped with what we do, but, we always throw diversions out there so people talk about us.

Chris Rice

There are multiple instances of Kaulig Racing potentially throwing out these “Diversions”. This past off-season, Rice denied rumors and speculation that the team was considering selling charters. Kaulig also used an arm photo to tease Daniel Hemric’s signing with the team for 2025, which sent the NASCAR world into a frenzy.

That said, Kaulig Racing likes to have fun teasing future plans. Could Rice be trying to throw a diversion out there by saying this to the media? It’s certainly possible, but we don’t see Kaulig, or any race team, for that matter, tell bald-faced lies in public interviews with the media. Rice, later in the interview, noted that he said this to a reporter who called him upset about the lack of information.

It’s no need for me to tell you a lie, so, I’m not going to tell you.

Chris Rice

If Not Merging, What Does 2025 Look Like for Kaulig?

With all that being said, Rice also teased some of what he expect from Kaulig Racing in 2025. It seems something is going on, but he hasn’t said exactly what yet.

We have a lot of cool things going on. I spent some time in Ohio this week, first part of the week, and I’m pretty excited about it. When it does, when we’re able to talk about it and able to share it, I think everybody else is going to be relieved. I think the worry is is Matt Kaulig going away, Matt Kaulig’s not going away. We don’t have a charter agreement done right now, so, let’s focus on that, and then we can focus on where Kaulig Racing’s going.

Chris Rice

What connection could Ohio have to Kaulig Racing? Team owner Matt Kaulig is originally from Columbus, Ohio.

It’s also interesting to note that Kroger is based in Ohio. According to Adam Stern, Tad Geshickter, a JTG-Daugherty co-owner with close ties to Kroger, could be leaving the team. However, Stern also reported that Joe Gibbs Racing is the most likely stop for Geshickter, so Geshickter and Kroger joining Kaulig is a stretch.

If we know anything about Kaulig Racing, expect the unexpected. Even then, Chris Rice did give a timeline for when Kaulig’s 2025 plans could be announced, but it depends on one thing.

I wish I could’ve told you yesterday, but, the next 30 days is a big, big time for us. I think in the next 30 days, everybody will have an idea what it looks like and what ’25 looks like for the Cup and Xfinity program…Matt Kaulig’s in it for the long haul with NASCAR, believes in the system. The charter agreement is going to be good once we get it done, so, once we can get all of that done I thing we can finalze what we’re working on.

Chris Rice

Well, the charter agreement might not be done for a while. However, we can guarantee that 2025 could be another year of big change for Kaulig Racing.

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