Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

UPDATE: The Teams Looking to BUY and SELL Cup Charters

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

What’s Happening?

The NASCAR Cup Series charter market is an ever-changing one. Purchasing a charter is essentially an unwritten rule to race full-time in the Cup Series nowadays, but, with only 36 available, for someone to buy, someone else has to sell. Here is everything we now know about the current Cup Series charter market.

  • Two teams could be in the market to sell charters for 2024. One team has been reported as such, and the other is more speculative.
  • Adam Stern reported in early April that 4 race teams are looking at purchasing charters, while Bob Pockrass added another in early May. Which ones will actually follow through and buy a charter?
  • Fans love to speculate about the charter market. Buying a charter is essentially an unwritten requirement for race teams to field a Cup Series car.

Potential Sellers

Stewart-Haas Racing

Stewart-Haas Racing has been on a downward trend for a few years now. They failed to win a race in 2023, which was their first winless season since Tony Stewart bought into the team in 2009. Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic reported earlier this season that SHR and Ford could split after their contract expires at the end of the season.

Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal reported in early April that SHR could sell either one or multiple charters. Should SHR leave Ford, potentially getting away from “Tier One” status, they may need the extra cash from selling a charter for potentially >$40 million.

JTG-Daugherty Racing

JTG-Daugherty Racing could be in for a major shakeup. According to Stern, Kroger might be leaving JTG-Daugherty along with team owner Tad Geshickter, with Joe Gibbs Racing being the current most likely destination. Speculation ran wild that this could cause JTG-Daugherty Racing to lose a charter, but, recent developments have called that into question.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. signed a multi-year extension with JTG-Daugherty Racing in late April. Candice Lee Spencer of Catchfence reported that the deal was 3 years, but, the official release, which Geshickter was notably absent from, only said it was a multi-year deal. Either way, JTG-Daugherty is likely staying on the grid for now.

Teams Looking to Buy Charters

Adam Stern mentioned 4 teams looking to purchase charters in his original report on the SHR charter scenario, and Bob Pockrass added one more. This is the latest on those four teams.

JR Motorsports

Current Charters: NONE

Ask any NASCAR fan which Xfinity Series team they want to see jump up to the Cup, and JR Motorsports is often the first name out of their mouth. Owned by 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award winner and former NBC/future Amazon and Turner Sports broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr. alongside his sister Kelly, the team has played a large role in the development of many current Cup Series stars. Drivers like Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Tyler Reddick have all had stints at JRM.

The issue for JRM would likely be the cost, as Earnhardt Jr. lamented the cost of a charter on a recent episode of the Dale Jr. Download alongside Ray Evernham. In that episode, Dale Jr. revealed that he passed on a $2 million charter in 2016, but, charters are now worth more than 20x that amount. Does JRM have the cash available to buy a charter and go Cup racing?

Legacy Motor Club

Current Charters: No. 42 (John Hunter Nemechek) and No. 43 (Erik Jones)

Legacy Motor Club has undergone massive changes since 7-time Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson bought into the team before the 2023 season. They switched manufacturers from Chevrolet to Toyota, becoming a “Tier One” Toyota team. Now, they are apparently in the market for another charter.

This might be more of a Toyota thing than an LMC thing. Toyota has the fewest full-time cars in the Cup Series (8) of all manufacturers, which can be an issue at tracks like superspeedways that require immense teamwork. Then again, if LMC is willing to expand, why not expand?

23XI Racing

Current Charters: No. 23 (Bubba Wallace) and No. 45 (Tyler Reddick)

23XI Racing has risen faster than even the team itself expected. In 2023, only their third full-time season of competition, both drivers made the Playoffs, and Tyler Reddick made it all the way to the Round of 8. Team owner Denny Hamlin has made it no secret that he wants to expand.

However, Hamlin has been talking out of both sides of his mouth regarding charters. While reports say he wants to buy a new charter, he’s also been one of the most outspoken team owners on the ongoing charter negotiations with NASCAR. In a recent interview with Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal, Hamlin said that whether or not he buys a charter is up to whether or not Jim France and NASCAR choose to “Invest in the teams”. Hamlin further pushed back against the narrative of buying charters at Texas, telling the media, “23XI is happy with their two teams currently.”

Trackhouse

Current Charters: No. 1 (Ross Chastain) and No. 99 (Daniel Suarez)

Trackhouse Racing has the unenviable problem of having too many drivers and too few seats. Shane Van Gisbergen, Zane Smith, and Connor Zilisch are all under contract at Trackhouse, but, none of the three race under the Trackhouse Racing banner. Trackhouse needs to expand if it wants to accommodate these drivers without getting rid of current drivers.

One thing is for sure, Justin Marks and Pitbull are both willing to spend whatever it takes. Trackhouse doesn’t just want another charter, they very well may need another charter. Of all the teams to watch, this is the one to watch the closest.

Front Row Motorsports

Current Charters: No. 34 (Michael McDowell) and No. 38 (Todd Gilliland)

Front Row Motorsports is a team on the rise. They just signed on as a Tier One Ford team, and they have made the Playoffs in two of the last three seasons with driver Michael McDowell. A third team would not be unrealistic as FRM brings a third, non-chartered entry occasionally.

Pockrass reports that FRM would likely need shop space for a third full-time entry, and, conveniently enough, SHR might look at selling shop space. It would be interesting to see if these two teams end up working together, but, it likely depends on the charter market as a whole.

Will any of these race teams purchase or sell a charter? We will see as the 2024 season rolls on.

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts