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What We Know about Andretti and Spire Motorsports (So Far)

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An unlikely match in the NASCAR garage is continuing to be rumored. Andretti Autosport, one of the top motorsports teams in IndyCar, is still looking at getting into NASCAR, and Adam Stern reports that this most recent sponsorship move at Spire Motorsports is allowing the Andrettis to tread the waters of NASCAR.

So, what do we know so far about Andretti coming to NASCAR? What would Andretti moving to NASCAR potentially look like?

Everything We Know So Far

Andretti Autosport has been rumored to be in NASCAR for the entire year now. Back in June, Adam Stern reported that Michael Andretti was looking at deals to enter NASCAR.

Since then, Spire Motorsports has made some very interesting moves related to Andretti. On July 5, Spire Motorsports announced that they had signed a new sponsor, Gainbridge. Gainbridge is a company based in the Indianapolis area that sponsors Andretti in IndyCar.

It helps fund the 26 Andretti Autosport car driven by Colton Herta. Herta is a seven-time winner in IndyCar, including four wins at Andretti.

That weekend, July 8th, Marco Andretti made his Craftsman Truck Series debut for Spire Motorsports, the same team that signed with Gainbridge. Marco finished 19th that day after starting in seventh.

On Tuesday, Stern reported more about what could be going on behind the scenes. He further pushed that Andretti is using this Spire Motorsports deal as a foot-in-the-door in NASCAR.

SBJ understands that this move is a first step of sorts that will help the Andretti family get a feel for NASCAR if it decides it wants to take a more formal move into it.

Adam Stern

Nothing has officially been signed with Andretti, and no commitment has officially been made. Stern also further reports that Spire Motorsports still controls both charters with the team, so that is something that would have to be worked out. Stern reports that a charter could be worth $30 million.

Andretti going to NASCAR seems like a genuine possibility at this point, but what would it actually look like? How would Andretti coming into NASCAR actually work?

What would Andretti to NASCAR Look Like?

It seems from the Adam Stern report that Andretti Autosport coming to NASCAR would likely be via a partnership with another team. Spire seems like the most likely candidate at this point, and Spire has mentioned before that they are looking to try to acquire a new charter.

In this world where charters are getting more and more expensive, could partnering with a race team as popular as Andretti be what Spire is looking for? With this comment, it seems unlikely that Spire would want to give up full control to Andretti, but a partnership seems likely.

Combining resources of both Andretti and Spire could allow for the ability to buy a charter. In that instance, Spire could become a three car team with Andretti coming in in some way, shape, or form.

Team mergers have happened before in NASCAR. The two most notable ones included another IndyCar owner, Chip Ganassi.

In 2000, Chip Ganassi partnered with Felix Sabates and SABCO. In 2010, Ganassi merged with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated to form what was then known as Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. This was where Jamie McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500.

Tony Stewart partnered with Gene Haas in 2009 to form what is now known as Stewart-Haas Racing. Essentially, this type of partnership has happened before, and there has been success in this partnership as well.

However, there has also been the instance of a team takeover. In 2020, Justin Marks and Pitbull partnered to buy out Chip Ganassi and his race team to create what is now known as Trackhouse. That team has become a threat week-in and week-out.

Most of these deals mentioned include an IndyCar owner that Andretti has competed against for years. Andretti has seen this work out before second-hand.

It’s too early to determine who would drive for the team should this partnership happen, but, these types of partnerships have happened before. If the example is there, then what could be stopping Andretti from doing something like that?

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