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

Trackhouse to MotoGP: Why Are NASCAR Teams Investing in International Series?

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

What’s Happening?

In recent weeks, 3 of NASCAR’s top teams have been rumored or confirmed to be investing in international racing series. The most recent team to join is Trackhouse, who will officially join MotoGP in 2024. The question is, what are they looking to get out of these series?

You Need to Know:

  • Aside from Trackhouse, RFK Racing is looking at IMSA according to John Newby of NBC Sports. V8 Sleuth’s Stefan Bartholomaeus reported that Richard Childress Racing is looking at partnering with Erebus Motorsports so Kyle Busch can drive a Supercar in the Adelaide 500.
  • These moves follow NASCAR’s recent push to grow internationally. From Garage 56 at Le Mans to the emergence of Shane Van Gisbergen to the reported discussions of a race outside of the U.S., NASCAR has made it no secret they intended to be a more global sport.
  • Many fans are interested to see whether or not these team expansions actually happen. Others are concerned about whether or not expanding like this is the right move for these race teams.

Competition

One of the reasons race teams are looking at expanding is competition purposes, particularly improving road course programs. This is especially true of RFK Racing’s potential interest in IMSA and RCR’s interest in Supercars.

IMSA and RFK

Brad Keselowski had this to say about how moving to IMSA could help their NASCAR efforts at the NASCAR Awards according to John Newby of NBC Sports.

As NASCAR continues to get heavier and heavier into road course racing, I think that pedigree offers a lot of advantages to the ecosystem of a successful Cup team.

Brad Keselowski

The entire IMSA schedule is on road courses, so it is a great place for teams and drivers to work on road course racing. Keselowski would also not be alone as one NASCAR team owner, Roger Penske, is already involved in IMSA.

IMSA is also more closely related to NASCAR than many fans realize. Jim France, CEO of NASCAR is also the Chairman of IMSA, and Bill France Sr. helped found IMSA in 1969. This means a team does not have to go totally outside of NASCAR’s guidance when developing a road course program.

RCR and Supercars

Richard Childress is interested in supercars from a competition standpoint as well. Stefan Batholomaeus of V8 Sleuth said that Childress was intrigued by how Erebus could help RCR on road courses. Supercars race exclusively on road courses, just like IMSA.

Supercars are also very similar to the Next-Gen car. SVG’s win at the Chicago Street Race showed how well a Supercars driver could translate to NASCAR. That means that a lot of information learned in Supercars can likely be translated into a driver’s NASCAR career.

Growth of Their Own Company

Another reason for these race teams is to diversify their own company portfolio. This is a large reason behind Trackhouse’s move to MotoGP. Here is what Justin Marks had to say according to Lewis Duncan of Motorsport.com.

It has been in the ethos of Trackhouse since the very first day to put in the work, have the vision, and deploy the enthusiasm and passion necessary to build one of the most valuable motorsports entertainment companies in the world. Our entry into the MotoGP World Championship is another step in the execution of that vision.

Justin Marks

MotoGP does not offer much benefit to a NASCAR team from a competition standpoint. However, for a team like Trackhouse, it allows them to expand into new motorsports market. Dave Moody retweeted Justin Marks’ famous quote that Trackhouse is a “marketing company that just happens to have race cars” to put it in perspective.

MotoGP puts Trackhouse in front of an entirely new group of people around the world. This is just another step in the vision of Trackhouse as that marketing company with race cars – and now motorcycles.

Growth of the Sport

Another reason behind this is the growth of the sport. It’s no secret that NASCAR is looking to grow internationally. One of the best ways that growth can happen is NASCAR’s own race teams expanding their horizons into other racing series.

For most of NASCAR’s history, race teams have not notably ventured outside of American motorsports. Even today, race teams like Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing have stayed put in NASCAR. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s also not a bad idea to expand a bit.

Opening the sport up to an international audience was a big motivation for Project 91. It’s why Garage 56 became a thing, and it’s also why NASCAR has added international series in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Brazil. NASCAR is looking to go international, and, they certainly like race teams putting themselves out there in other racing series.

Will the race teams get the return on investment they want in these new racing series? Is this the right potential or actual move for them? Time will ultimately tell.

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts