The 2014 champion, who leads the Cup Series with four victories this season, said an ownership change also could mean some significant realignment of its bases, too.
“If I was looking at NASCAR and said, ‘All right, I want to own this business and what would I do to it?’, I think the first thing is there might be a possibility for some downsizing and efficiency that could be put into place to save some overhead and really kind of refine everything and hone in on certain things so that you can make those things great,” Harvick said Tuesday night on his “Happy Hours” program.
“And the reason I say that is there’s an office in California, New York, Daytona and Charlotte. There’s an R&D center in Charlotte. So where is the home, and do you need all that? Is it necessary to have people most of us don’t know in California and New York, and maybe it is. Someone might have to explain it to me. But if you can have one central location to say, ‘This is where NASCAR is.’ ”
Harvick, who owns a management company that has clients across multiple sports, has been pushing for NASCAR to shake up its schedule by adding more connections to grass-roots short tracks and rotating the championship finale and All-Star Race.
He said a sale of NASCAR might help with such an overhaul.
“Bringing a new owner in may draw that line clearer to say now there’s separation between NASCAR and racetracks, and I think it might be a possibility to open the schedule up and go to some new places,” he said. “Because of the fact you have two publicly traded companies that are trying to make a bottom line and trying to make their investors happy with the investing in the racetracks.”
Would a sale of NASCAR include bundling those publicly traded companies, International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc., that own 20 of the 23 tracks that play host to the Cup Series?
“You know that’s a good question,” Harvick said. “And look, there’s a lot of people that are way smarter than me and that’s the hard part about speculating on stuff like this is what comes with it? How far does it go? Does it come with some of their racetrack ownership? Is it something to a private equity group that comes in and buys it and does like they did with F1 and looks to just kind of change the way it’s marketed and change the way that it’s structured?”
Harvick also believes there could be the chance to provide more financial security for teams.
“I think that would be a viable opportunity here, just from the things that we do,” he said. “Is it somebody that comes in and says, ‘OK, we’re going to structure it like an actual league where everybody’s kind of sharing in the TV revenue more evenly and to help the teams get where they need to be from a TV revenue standpoint so that they’re not so dependent on sponsors.’ So that these team owners can have real franchises that are worth value that other people want to come in to buy.
“So I think there’s some real opportunities that you could talk about, but we just don’t know the 100% structure (of a possible sale).”