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The Teams Looking to Purchase SHR’s Cup Charters

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Stewart-Haas Racing’s charters may be for sale according to a recent Adam Stern report, and he named four specific teams that are looking at buying those charters. Who are these four teams, and which ones are the most likely to buy a charter from SHR as soon as late this year?

  • Stewart-Haas Racing has been on a notable downward trend for the past few seasons. They have not won a race since 2022, and a recent report from Jordan Bianchi suggested they might leave Ford after the 2023 season.
  • Many of the four-race teams in question have already been in discussions regarding purchasing charters as recently as this year. Does that mean they will actually purchase 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.

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 he admits 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”.

Trackhouse Racing

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 they want 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 teams to watch, this is the one to watch the closest.

Will any of these race teams purchase a charter from Stewart-Haas Racing? We will see as the 2024 season rolls on.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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