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What’s The Latest on the NASCAR Charter Agreement?

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What’s Happening?

As the 2024 NASCAR season nears its halfway point, the current charter negotiations between NASCAR and the race teams continue to simmer in the background. This week, the teams made some interesting comments regarding the negotiations, casting doubt on how united the teams are and what type of leverage they truly have.

  • The NASCAR charter agreement expires at the end of the season. Without a charter agreement, NASCAR has the right to remove race teams’ charters.
  • Race teams sang one tune at Gateway, shedding some light on the fact that the negotiations could be at least trending in the right direction. However, more recent comments have changed the narrative.
  • Fans are not happy with the direction the charter agreement is taking. They want to see a fair deal so this can stop being a story.

What Team Owners Said at Gateway

Both Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski discussed the charter proposal publically during the NASCAR Cup Series race weekend at Gateway. While Denny Hamlin was far more pessimistic about the proposal, Brad Keselowski offered cautious optimism.

There’s still a ton of work to do. Not a little bit of work, but quite a bit. That’s going to be the priority over the next few months maybe to get this thing a little closer.

Denny Hamlin

I haven’t formed a strong opinion yet. I’d like a little bit more time before going deep in record, but, it seems things continue to progress. But, I’m not willing to go out on a ledge and say things are done, they’re certainly not, but, there’s good progress and I respect that.

Brad Keselowski

Keselowski and Hamlin had very different opinions, but Keselowski admitted that he was still forming his opinion on the agreement. Based on Keselowski’s comments, things could be progressing. Hamlin was not convinced that a deal was even close to happening.

Just over a week later, the teams discussed the most recent deal further.

This Week

Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press reported on the current charter negotiations. She says multiple team owners have said the current 7-year with an additional 7-year option deal on the table is “one of the worst” NASCAR has given out so far. The reasons include a lack of permanent charters, a provision allowing the France family to purchase charters and own a race team, and what Fryer called “Rollbacks” from other offers.

Why won’t NASCAR make charters permanent? Ryan McGee of ESPN reports that it’s because NASCAR doesn’t want to extend the deal beyond the media rights deal, saying, “We can only support you as long as we’re being supported. Denny Hamlin responded to that on social media, saying that permanent charters don’t cost NASCAR a dime.

Furthermore, a team president did not speak highly of Jim France to Ryan McGee. While many hoped to see Jim in charge, it did not pan out as they hoped in these negotiations.

None of us were happy with Brian in charge, and we used to say, what would it be like if Jim stepped in?Be careful what you wish for, because this is Bill Junior’s brother, after all.

Unnamed Team President to Ryan McGee

Furthermore, it’s questionable how united the teams truly are. Fryer reports that teams are concerned that Front Row Motorsports’ recent announcement about starting a third team suggests that some teams are okay with NASCAR’s currentoffer, fracturing the united front teams have tried to present.

What Does This All Mean?

Frankly, the teams do not currently have much leverage. Fryer notes that teams are not interested in forming a breakaway series, claiming, “NASCAR would move on without the likes of Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing or Team Penske.”

The biggest thing race teams have in their corner is their star power. While NASCAR is the sanctioning body, the race teams and drivers are the ones who put on the show. But if those teams can’t leave, what leverage do they really have? That scenario showcases how much the team needs NASCAR to field their cars and run their businesses.

It also comes at a very strange time. Teams are asking for more money, yet, we see Front Row willing to shell out $10s of millions to buy a charter and 23XI willing to build a $multi-million motorsports palace, “Airspeed”.

Regardless of what a fair deal is or Is not, NASCAR has all of this to use as leverage against the race teams.

In turn, the race teams can use the media and their voices to give their perspectives on everything. It’s worth noting that not every race team has the readily available resources that 23XI and Front Row have to make these big moves. A four-car race team is literally shutting down, so that could also showcase a potential problem with the business model.

It’s tough to say exactly how this will work out. What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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Joshua Lipowski

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