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.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. named pace truck driver for 2019 Daytona 500

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No matter who wins the pole for the 2019 Daytona 500, they will start behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. He has been named as the pace truck driver for the season opening race.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner will lead the field to green for the 61st edition of the “Great American Race” in a Chevrolet Silverado pace truck. It will be the first time a truck has been used as a pace vehicle for the Daytona 500.

Chevrolet has previously paced the Daytona 500 on 12 occasions: seven with Camaro and five with Corvette.

“I’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of success at Daytona over the years, and now I can’t wait to get out on that track in a Silverado,” Earnhardt said in a press release. “Away from the track I’ve driven Chevy trucks all my life, and I’m excited to have this unique experience of pacing the Daytona 500 with the Silverado.”

This year Earnhardt was the Grand Marshal for the Feb. 18 running of the 500, giving the command to start engines.

Earnhardt won the 2004 and 2014 editions of the 500. He has two July victories on the track as well.

“Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the perfect choice to pace the race because of his enthusiasm for the sport, his long history with Chevrolet and his love of trucks,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports in a press release. “It’ll be exciting to have Dale lead the field to green in the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever.”

 

NASCAR partners with Sportradar for gambling fraud detection service

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NASCAR has entered a multi-year agreement with Sportradar to make use of its sports betting fraud monitoring services, the two companies announced Tuesday.

As part of the agreement, Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) will monitor domestic and global betting activity for signs of fraudulent activity for all three of NASCAR’s national series: the Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

NASCAR will also have use of Sportradar’s Education and Prevention Services, which includes on-site workshops for NASCAR drivers, teams, officials and associated stakeholders delivered by Sportradar’s integrity and educational experts. Sportradar’s Integrity Services will also help NASCAR develop a full-fledged betting integrity program, including betting-related rules and policies.

NASCAR and Sportrader have an established history. In 2015, SportsData, a subsidiary of Sportrader, partnered with NASCAR to distribute its live timing and scoring data to third-party digital outlets.

The announcement of the partnership is the last step in NASCAR embracing sports gambling following a ruling by the Supreme Court in May that allowed states to decide if they allow sports betting.

In October, Dover International Speedway in Delaware became the first track that hosts NASCAR to introduce at-track betting.

That weekend NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the sanctioning body will add rules clarifying its policy for competitors in 2019.

“I think for ’19 we’ll have some rules that we’ll put in place,” Phelps said. “For right now, there’ll be betting here. We’ll study and see how that goes, but I think we’ll have some rules in place for sponsorship, for what betting looks like and continue to see what happens in the landscape overall.”

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2019 NASCAR Cup Series race start times announced

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NASCAR has announced its race start times for the 2019 Cup Series season, with a notable change in start time for the playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

After a start time of 3 p.m. ET this year, next season’s race will begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on NBCSN.

“Moving the start time for the September race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is fitting because it will deliver a better experience for our fans attending the race, and kick off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in primetime,” said Steve Herbst, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Broadcasting and Production in a press release. “Each race weekend, including Las Vegas, is unique, and we work collaboratively with broadcast partners, teams and tracks to ensure the ideal timing is selected for our events.”

Other notable start times:

  • The Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
  • The March 31 race at Texas Motor Speedway will start one hour later, moving from a 2 p.m. ET start to 3 p.m. ET. The race also moves to FOX.
  • The start time for New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s July 22 starts one hour later, moving from 2 p.m. ET to 3 p.m. ET.
  • Martinsville Speedway’s Oct. 28 playoff shifts a half-hour later to a 3 p.m. ET start.

Here’s the full schedule with start times and TV and radio networks:

DATE

RACE

NETWORK

RACE START (ET)

RADIO

Sun, Feb 10, 2019

Daytona 500 Qualifying

FOX

12:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Feb 10, 2019

The Clash

FS1

3:00 PM

MRN

Thu, Feb 14, 2019

Duel at Daytona

FS1

7:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Feb 17, 2019

Daytona 500

FOX

2:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Feb 24, 2019

Atlanta

FOX

2:00 PM

PRN

Sun, Mar 03, 2019

Las Vegas

FOX

3:30 PM

PRN

Sun, Mar 10, 2019

ISM Raceway

FOX

3:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Mar 17, 2019

Auto Club Speedway

FOX

3:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Mar 24, 2019

Martinsville

FS1

2:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Mar 31, 2019

Texas

FOX

3:00 PM

PRN

Sun, Apr 07, 2019

Bristol

FS1

2:00 PM

PRN

Sat, Apr 13, 2019

Richmond

FOX

7:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Apr 28, 2019

Talladega

FOX

2:00 PM

MRN

Sun, May 05, 2019

Dover

FS1

2:00 PM

MRN

Sat, May 11, 2019

Kansas

FS1

7:30 PM

MRN

Sat, May 18, 2019

All-Star Open

FS1

6:00 PM

MRN

Sat, May 18, 2019

All-Star Race

FS1

8:00 PM

MRN

Sun, May 26, 2019

Charlotte

FOX

6:00 PM

PRN

Sun, Jun 02, 2019

Pocono

FS1

2:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Jun 09, 2019

Michigan

FS1

2:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Jun 23, 2019

Sonoma

FS1

3:00 PM

PRN

Sun, Jun 30, 2019

Chicagoland

NBCSN

3:00 PM

MRN

Sat, Jul 06, 2019

Daytona

NBC

7:30 PM

MRN

Sat, Jul 13, 2019

Kentucky

NBCSN

7:30 PM

PRN

Sun, Jul 21, 2019

New Hampshire

NBCSN

3:00 PM

PRN

Sun, Jul 28, 2019

Pocono

NBCSN

3:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Aug 04, 2019

Watkins Glen

NBCSN

3:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Aug 11, 2019

Michigan

NBCSN

3:00 PM

MRN

Sat, Aug 17, 2019

Bristol

NBCSN

7:30 PM

PRN

Sun, Sep 01, 2019

Darlington

NBCSN

6:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Sep 08, 2019

Indianapolis

NBC

2:00 PM

IMS

Sun, Sep 15, 2019

Las Vegas

NBCSN

7:00 PM

PRN

Sat, Sep 21, 2019

Richmond

NBCSN

7:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Sep 29, 2019

Charlotte

NBC

2:30 PM

PRN

Sun, Oct 06, 2019

Dover

NBCSN

2:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Oct 13, 2019

Talladega

NBC

2:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Oct 20, 2019

Kansas

NBC

2:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Oct 27, 2019

Martinsville

NBCSN

3:00 PM

MRN

Sun, Nov 03, 2019

Texas

NBCSN

3:00 PM

PRN

Sun, Nov 10, 2019

ISM Raceway

NBC

2:30 PM

MRN

Sun, Nov 17, 2019

Homestead-Miami

NBC

3:00 PM

MRN

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John Andretti still battling colon cancer after chemotherapy

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John Andretti announced Monday he continues to fight colon cancer after the conclusion of his latest round of chemotherapy treatments.

“I just ran out of ride tickets on the #chemocoaster,” Andretti announced in a tweet. “We still have to deal with the cancer. Will know more following scans in a couple of weeks.”

The former NASCAR and IndyCar driver announced in May that after six months of remission the colon cancer had returned and spread.

Andretti, 55, first revealed he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in April 2017. Since then he has been an advocate of men over 50 getting colonoscopies.

 

Andretti’s initial surgery after his diagnosis removed 12-14 inches of his colon and scans showed the cancer had spread to his liver and possibly his spleen. In June 2017 he announced that his spleen and gallbladder were cancer free.

Andretti, the nephew of Mario Andretti, competed in the Cup Series from 1993-2010 and won twice, including the 1997 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. 

He made five starts in the Indianapolis 500 and was the first driver to attempt the “Double” of competing in the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

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