Answers to questions about NASCAR charters

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Questions and answers about the new ownership model that NASCAR unveiled Tuesday.

What is a charter?

A team with a charter is guaranteed a spot in every Sprint Cup points race and a significant portion of annual revenue. Unlike the qualifying system used since NASCAR’s inception 67 years ago, there will be 36 cars guaranteed slots in every points race. Only four slots will be up for grabs each week, and those will be competing for a lesser share of the purse.

How many cars will be chartered and what is the size of the field?

There are 36 charters in a 40-car field (three fewer entries than previously).

Why is a charter valuable?

Because it will guarantee more money through a four-pronged determinant of revenue streams: increased share of the race purse (divvied among 40 cars instead of 43), historical performance (a better team is awarded more money), a fixed distribution for chartered teams and a higher distribution from the season-ending points fund. Essentially, instead of teams being rewarded based on performance-based purses, the balance will shift to teams being rewarded for full-time participation.

How much money are teams guaranteed?

There weren’t many numbers provided, but the money probably is in the range of at least the low seven figures annually.

Is there a minimum requirement for maintaining a charter?

Though NASCAR didn’t clarify, teams must “remain in good standing” to keep a charter, probably via a minimum average finish or accumulated points to eliminate the possibility of a team becoming a start and park.

What are the qualifications for receiving a charter?

All of the 36 chartered teams have been competing full time since the beginning of the 2013 season.

What teams would meet those qualifications?

Hendrick Motorsports (4): No. 5, No. 24, No. 48, No. 88.

Joe Gibbs Racing (3): No. 11, No. 18, No. 20.

Roush Fenway Racing (3): No. 6, No. 16, No. 17.

Richard Childress Racing (3): No. 3 (previously No. 29), No. 27, No. 31.

Stewart-Haas Racing (3): No. 4 (previously No. 39), No. 10, No. 14.

Team Penske (2): No. 2, No. 22.

Michael Waltrip Racing (2): No. 15, No. 55 (both teams defunct for 2016; charters likely to be transferred)

Chip Ganassi Racing (2): No. 1, No. 42.

Richard Petty Motorsports (2): No. 43, No. 44 (previously No. 9).

BK Racing (2): No. 23, No. 83

Front Row Motorsports (2): No. 34, No. 38

JTG Daugherty Racing (1): No. 47

Germain Racing (1): No. 13

Furniture Row Racing (1): No. 78

HScott Motorsports (1): No. 15 (previously now 51)

Tommy Baldwin Racing (1): No. 7

Premium Motorsports (1): No. 62 (previously No. 36)

Go Fas Racing (1): No. 32

Circle Sport Racing: (1): No. 95 (previously No. 33 but has merged with Leavine Family Racing)

Can teams transfer charters to one another or outside investors?

Yes. And some will change hands before the Daytona 500. Stewart-Haas Racing (No. 41 of Kurt Busch) and Joe Gibbs Racing (No. 19 of Carl Edwards) both need them, and HScott Motorsports apparently is leasing a charter for a second team (which is allowed in a one-year arrangement).

Who has charters to sell?

Race Team Alliance chairman Rob Kauffman is the owner of defunct Michael Waltrip Racing’s two charters, which likely will be transferred to SHR and JGR. There are a few other teams (Premium Motorsports, Go Fas Racing) that might consider deals.

Who needs a charter?

The No. 21 Ford of Wood Brothers Racing is planning to run full time but doesn’t have a charter because it has been part time for several years. Rookie Ryan Blaney probably won’t be worried about failing to qualify for races, though, because there aren’t expected to be many teams vying for the four non-chartered spots.

What is the length of the charter deal? 

Nine years (five, plus a four-year option). Concurrent with the years remaining on NASCAR’s contracts with Fox and NBC Sports.

What is the going price of a charter that is transferred?

That will be determined by the market, but Kauffman estimated the going rate initially would be in the “single-digit millions.” The value lies in the amount of guaranteed revenue over the course of nine years and an assured spot in every Sprint Cup race.

Will chartered teams have a bigger say in NASCAR decision-making?

Yes, though it’s somewhat nebulous precisely how much sway NASCAR will allow. Each of the 36 chartered teams will be on a “Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions.” Though teams say they still want NASCAR to run the show, they will be included on long-term strategic planning, such as rules changes and marketing.

Kyle Busch touts support he’s received for comments at Las Vegas

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RICHMOND, Va. — Kyle Busch says he’s received support from fellow drivers, who told him “what I said is not wrong” about the ability of some competitors.

Busch was upset last weekend after running into the back of Garrett Smithley’s car and being impeded by Joey Gase in the Cup playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

After the race, Busch told NBCSN: “We’re at the top echelon of motorsports, and we’ve got guys who have never won Late Model races running on the racetrack. It’s pathetic. They don’t know where to go. What else do you do?”

Smithley responded on social media and Gase later responded on social media.

MORE: Kyle Busch’s comments address murky issue with no solution 

Busch was asked Friday at Richmond Raceway if he watched video of the incident with Smithley since last week and if his opinion changed.

“I did see video of last week,” Busch said. “It doesn’t matter what my opinion is. I get beat up on it anyway.”

Busch was encouraged by support he received.

“I’ve had multiple texts from other people that are race car drivers and non-race car drivers this week that have said what I said is not wrong, but there’s other general masses that say different,” Busch said.

Busch’s race at Las Vegas started poorly when he hit the wall in the opening laps and went down two laps. He explained what happened:

“We started out, we practiced our car and we were pretty decent in practice, but I felt like I was a tick tight, so we made some changes going into the race to free it up,” Busch said. “The first run at Vegas is always looser. And I guess I didn’t mentally prepare myself for that enough, and we were 10 numbers loose, like crashing loose.

“I got myself in trouble. I got myself into the fence. Was able to battle back from all of that throughout everything of the day and put ourselves in position for a solid finish and we just didn’t get it.”

Asked what he could have done differently, Busch said:

“I should have been prepared for it,” he said. “I actually prepared (crew chief Adam Stevens) for it, but I guess didn’t prepare myself for it. I was getting passed, guys were going by me and I was falling backwards and I was like I got to go here, I’ve got to move forward and pushed too hard.”

Busch recovered to get back on the lead lap and was running in the top five when he had the contact with Smithley. Busch finished 19th.

“For as bad as our day started, we were certainly able to make something of it and come back for a top-four run until close to the end,” Busch said when asked if his frustration hurts his performance. “People want to say because of my state of mind that’s the reason I ran into the back of a slow car, that’s funny people know how I think and what I am inside my helmet. I don’t think that had anything to do with it.”

Busch, the regular-season champion, qualified fourth for Saturday night’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Results, Xfinity point standings after Richmond playoff race

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Christopher Bell led a career best 238 laps Friday night on his way to winning the Xfinity playoff opener at Richmond Raceway.

It is his seventh win of the year, matching his total from 2018.

The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe.

Click here for the race results.

Playoff standings

Bell secured a spot in the second round of the playoffs with his win.

The four drivers currently below the cutline for advancing to the next round are Brandon Jones (-15 points from cutline), Ryan Sieg (-19), Justin Haley (-20) and John Hunter Nemechek (-21).

Click here for the point standings.

Christopher Bell wins Xfinity playoff opener at Richmond

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Christopher Bell put together a convincing win Friday night at Richmond Raceway to open the Xfinity Series playoffs.

Bell led 238 of 250 laps – a career high – and swept each stage to earn his seventh victory of the year, matching his total from 2018.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has now won three of the last four races at Richmond and six of the last 11 short track races.

The top five was made up of pole-sitter Austin Cindric, Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe.

“That one was pretty special,” Bell told NBCSN. “Going 92 laps straight there is really difficult, man. We were sliding all around. I felt like if I could get to traffic I was going to be in good shape. Because my car could really move around good. I could run up, I could run down. (Cole Custer) was keeping pressure on us pretty good, but this Rheem Supra was too good.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Christopher Bell

STAGE 2 WINNER: Christopher Bell

More: race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Harrison Burton was the highest finishing non-playoff driver in sixth … Austin Cindric earned his first top five in the last four races. He finished second in both Richmond races this year … In his 300th career Xfinity start, Justin Allgaier finished fourth after he had to start from the rear for changing a tire … Chase Briscoe earned his first top five in the last five races.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Mike Marlar wasn’t able to complete the first lap of his first Xfinity start. He was involved in an incident and finished last … Vinnie Miller had a mechanical failure with 25 laps left in the first stage. He finished 35th … Tyler Matthews finished 33rd after he wrecked in Stage 1 … Playoff driver Justin Haley had a pit road penalty and finished 17th … John Hunter Nemechek finished 15th after he spun while trying to intentionally spin Joe Graf Jr. right before the race’s conclusion. It was retaliation for a bump-and-run by Graf earlier in the lap.

NOTABLE: Christopher Bell has a win percentage of 22%, third all-time in the Xfinity Series.

WHAT’S NEXT: Drive for the Cure 200 on the Charlotte Roval at 3:30 p.m. ET Sept. 28 on NBCSN

 

Provisional starting lineup for Richmond Cup race

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Playoff drivers Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are on the provisional front row for Saturday’s Cup Series playoff race at Richmond Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

The top five is completed by playoff drivers Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer.

The highest qualifying non-playoff driver is Jimmie Johnson (10th).

The lowest qualifying playoff driver was Joey Logano (28th).

The starting lineup will be made official after pre-race inspection Saturday. One failure will result in a qualifying time being disallowed.

Click here for the provisional starting lineup.