NASCAR and Sprint Cup team owners are discussing ways teams can enjoy increased “long-term value” in the future, according to a report by Bob Pockrass at ESPN.com.
The report says executives from five teams confirmed to ESPN that talks were taking place.
The long-term value teams seek could involve franchising or a “select number of licenses that guarantee starting spots” the report says.
“What I can say is both NASCAR and the teams recognize that the teams building up some kind of long-term equity for participating in the sport, year in and year out and putting on the show, is a good thing,” said Rob Kauffman, Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner and chairman of the Race Team Alliance. “You look at a lot of other sports around the world, and that’s how they work.”
The Race Team Alliance was formed in 2014 by nine Sprint Cup organizations (and later expanded to include the majority of teams in the field) as a collaborative way to negotiate with NASCAR on major issues.
“So the question is, can you come up with some model within the framework of NASCAR that makes sense for everybody,” Kauffman said. “It’s a very sensible concept. The hard part is the details. So we’re having productive discussions to see if we can figure out how to do it. It’s an ongoing project.”
In a statement to ESPN.com, NASCAR chief operating officer Brent Dewar said:
“As always, we are working with all the race teams on a number of short- and long-term initiatives to ensure the sport remains healthy, strong and as competitive as it can be now and for decades to come. We are having productive dialogue with everyone in the garage on a wide range of things and many good ideas are being exchanged. We’re very pleased with the collaboration, but beyond that it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on any specifics of our discussions or to speculate on any timelines at this point.”