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How Stewart-Haas Racing Could COLLAPSE Charter Prices

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What’s Happening?

Stewart-Haas Racing’s future is uncertain, but it seems increasingly likely that the team could offload all four Cup Series charters, dismantling what was once one of the Cup Series’ most fearsome race teams. However, according to Adam Stern, the charter price could be between $20 and $30 Million, a far cry from the $40 million Spire Motorsports needed to buy a charter from Live Fast Motorsports in 2023. Why are the charter prices so low?

  • Stewart-Haas Racing is reportedly considering selling all four charters. That’s significantly more than in 2023 when only one charter was sold. The number of charters combined with SHR’s desire to sell them plays a role in the cost.
  • Multiple teams are in the running to purchase charters. Stern mentions Trrackhouse, Front Row Motorsports, and 23XI Racing. This plays a role in how much charters can go for.
  • Fans are surprised to see charters going for as cheap as they are. Many were expecting higher prices than last year’s charter sale.

The Law of Supply and Demand

Frankly, it is as simple as the lesson we all learned in High School Economics: the law of supply and demand. The price goes down if there is more of a product (Supply) than people who want it (Demand). If there are more people who want the product (Demand) than the product available (Supply), the price goes up.

Looking at the current SHR situation, there are currently 4 charters on the market, and Stern reports that 3 teams want charters. With Trackhouse looking at 2 charters and FRM and 23XI Racing looking at potentially 1, SHR has as many charters as teams want to purchase. There’s no real incentive for teams to outbid each other for charters since there’s more available than teams who want them.

Compare that to last year. Live Fast Motorsports was the only team to sell a charter, and there were plenty of potential suitors. With only one charter available, the demand was high, and the supply was low, meaning the price skyrocketed to $40 Million.

A good comparison for this is NASCAR versus Formula One race tickets. NASCAR race tickets are far less expensive, generally speaking than Formula One race tickers because NASCAR races 38 times across the country. In contrast, Formula One only comes to the U.S. 3 times per year, with each race happening in a different region of the country.

SHR As a Race Team

Another factor to consider is SHR’s status as a race team. If they’re considering selling all four charters, that essentially means they’re disbanding their Cup Series operation. This factor also affects how the pricing works.

If SHR is getting rid of everything, they must sell off more than just their charter. They need to find out what to do with their shop, equipment, cars, and everything else that goes with it.

This has two effects. First, if they’re dead set on selling everything, they have very little leverage in negotiations because they’re just trying to offload everything. Second, giving teams a charter at a potentially bargained price allows SHR to throw in other things they need to sell potentially.

We often see this with companies going out of business. They’ll often sell whatever they have at a discounted rate so they can bring in as much money as possible before they sell or close up shop.

Compare SHR once again to Live Fast Motorsports in 2023. Live Fast didn’t die as an organization. B.J. McLeod and the No. 78 team still compete part-time in the Cup Series. The charter was the most valuable thing they could sell, and they had multiple teams who wanted it.

Ultimately, the state of SHR is a strange one, and no one knows what will happen. However, they won’t have the same power in negotiations as Live Fast did in 2023.

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Joshua Lipowski

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