The Lynch Racing Co., a division of Sport Venture Group, announced Friday that it has acquired a minority ownership share in NASCAR Cup organization BK Racing from Iowa City Capital Partners.
“We’re constantly trying to improve and I think this is a step in the right direction to do that,” BK Racing majority owner Ron Devine told NBC Sports in a phone interview. “I think it’s a welcoming transaction for us and I’m excited about it. There’s a lot of work to do between now and that green flag at Daytona, but we’re on it.”
Devine said discussions are still taking place with Lynch Racing/SVG to gauge how much involvement there will be, but added, “I’m pleased, let’s just say that.”
“We look forward to working with Ron (Devine) going forward to enhance the value of the charter(s),” Ron Konersmann, Chairman of Sport Venture Group, said in a media release.
Anthony Marlowe, owner of Iowa City Capital Partners, is selling his share of BK Racing to Lynch Racing/SVG to focus on other areas of NASCAR involvement.
“Short term, I plan on moving from owner to sponsor, perhaps even a Series partner,” Marlowe told NBC Sports. “Long term, I am open to reinvesting in the sport if the right opportunity presents itself.
“With the right strategy, I think NASCAR can re-grow its market share. It needs to find a way for teams to build franchise value. … I’ve been a fan myself for many years, proud to have been involved, I proposed to my wife at the track. We love racing.”
An investor and entrepreneur, Marlowe purchased 15 percent of Swan Racing in 2013, then acquired 49 percent of Swan’s assets as it was closing and merged them into BK Racing in April 2014 for a 10 percent share of BK Racing.
BK Racing was founded in 2012 when Devine and Wayne Press acquired Red Bull Racing. It fields two teams in the NASCAR Cup Series and holds a NASCAR charter for the No. 23 Toyota Camry and the No. 83 Toyota Camry. BK Racing holds a NASCAR charter for the No. 23, but does not have a charter for the No. 83, having sold its charter before the 2017 season.
The No. 23 finished 35th in the 2017 Cup season owners standings, while the No. 83 was the highest-finishing “open” (unchartered) car in Cup, finishing 36th in the owners standings with a rotating cast of drivers.
“Without Ron, the majority owner, and managing partner, subsidizing the team, the team wouldn’t exist,” Marlowe said. “The reality is that most teams across all of the motorsports around the world, including stock car racing, at all levels operate because of someone like Ron. Ron at this stage in his life races for a living, and is determined to make it work in NASCAR.”
Marlowe said the addition of a venture group as an investor in BKR could help take the organization to bigger heights.
“The team has been dramatically underfunded vs. other teams since before my involvement, due to limited sponsorship sales, and lack of a competitive engine program,” Marlowe said. “I think it is clear to all incoming, outgoing and existing parties that some significant changes would go a long way to ensure it continues as a viable entity.”