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Joey Logano Calls NASCAR Business Model the “Craziest Thing”

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Joey Logano had some strong words for the business model in the NASCAR Xfinity and Truck Series on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. He mentioned that he desires to race more in the lower series, but he has to bring significant money to do so. He called that aspect of the business model, “The craziest thing to think about.” Is it really as crazy as Logano claims it is?

  • Joey Logano is a 2-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion. He feels that not being able to race in the lower series without bringing significant funding alongside is absurd for someone who is a multi-time champion. This is not Logano’s first time discussing this topic.
  • Sponsorship and funding are a major part of going racing. Without sponsorship or some sort of financial backing, drivers and race teams are not going anywhere in the sport. This is especially true in the lower series.
  • Many fans and even some drivers have expressed frustration regarding this topic. Their feeling is that instead of drivers getting rides based on merit, they get rides based on how much money they bring in.

Logano’s Past Comments

This is not the first time that Logano has spoken out about the business model, particularly in the lower series. He discussed this topic on the Kenny Wallace Show in June of 2023, and Logano expressed many of the same sentiments.

In this interview, Logano discussed many of the same things, including talking about having to bring funding to run in the Truck Series at Bristol Dirt. The crux of his argument was that, if he needs to bring funding, then what about the young racer who has little to no professional racing experience to fall back on?

If a NASCAR champion has to bring money to go racing, what does a 18, 19, 20 year old kid that does not have a resume expect. I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you do it.

Joey Logano

This is something that Logano feels very strongly about, and he admits in both clips that he does not have an easy fix. However, is Logano’s point about a Cup Series driver needing significant funding to race in the lower series a new problem?

How New is This Problem?

Having major sponsorship from someone somewhere has been virtually a must for anyone who wants to compete at the highest levels of the sport. Richard Petty had STP, Dale Earnhardt had Wrangler and Goodwrench, Jeff Gordon had Dupont, Jimmie Johnson had Lowe’s, and on and on and on. Drivers needing funding is not a new concept, but, the way the funding is dished out has changed significantly.

In the past, when drivers had a sponsor, that sponsor would usually fund their entire season, including forays into the lower series. Dale Earnhardt, for example, took either Wrangler or Goodwrench sponsorship into all but 7 of his 136 career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts according to Racing Reference.

Nowadays, instead of one major sponsor, drivers and teams piece multiple sponsors together to fund the full season. Kyle Busch, for example, had 14 different primary sponsors on his car in 2023 according to Racing Reference. Those sponsors are also not always as willing to fund lower series efforts for these drivers.

For example, in 2023, Kyle Larson won an Xfinity Series race at Darlington for Kaulig Racing with HendrickCars.com as the sponsor. Christopher Bell brought Mobil 1 with him to Las Vegas last weekend. There are some exceptions where teams will find sponsorships for Cup Series drivers, such as Kyle Busch using Spire Motorsports’ Group 1001 sponsorship at Atlanta and Las Vegas, but, those are exceptions.

Someone has always been footing the bill. The difference is that the funding is often coming from multiple sponsors as opposed to one, with some exceptions. That is why these lower series teams need drivers who bring funding. Many teams don’t have one major sponsor to lean back on who will sponsor the car no matter who is in it.

Is There a “Fix”?

Now, Logano is looking specifically at the lower series when talking here. It’s a large hurdle for young drivers, especially in a day and age where season-long sponsorships are fewer and farther between. Ryan Ellis discussed this harsh reality in response to Logano’s comments.

This issue even goes up into the NASCAR Cup Series. Jeff Gordon opened up about the current business model in the Cup Series on a recent episode of the Dale Jr Download, and he talked about just how difficult it is for race teams to make money in this sport.

Could the charter negotiations in the Cup Series produce a business model that could trickle down into the lower series? Maybe it can. It will be interesting to see what the effect could be on the sport as a whole, and whether or not race teams can or will become less reliant on sponsorship.

At the end of the day, drivers and race teams have been relying on sponsorship to stay afloat in the sport for many years. However, the game has become much tougher in recent years, and it even limits where Cup Series Champions can go for rides. Racing is expensive, and someone, somewhere along the line has to foot the bill.

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