JR Motorsports ‘continuing conversations’ on possible Cup effort

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Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of JR Motorsports, says “we’re just continuing conversations” in terms of fielding a Cup team and acquiring a charter.

She made her comments Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “On Track” show.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of the team, stated in April that he and his sister had discussions about operating a Cup team and acquiring a charter.

Asked about the progress toward that goal, Kelley Earnhardt Miller told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: 

“We’re just continuing conversations. That’s what we’ve been doing, just trying to talk with people and get as much information and get as much ideas of what opportunities are out there, and really thinking through 2023 for us would be ideal, so that gives us a little bit of time.

“You see this charter stuff happening and Trackhouse (Racing) buying (Chip Ganassi Racing) and just the rumors out there of different situations and you kind of get a little nervous. ‘Will there be a charter available? What will the situation be? Are they going to be too expensive or whatnot?’

“Just a lot of moving parts. A lot of unknown situations that really just force you to take a risk and take a gamble. We’re just not quite there yet. We want to be there, but just continuing those conversations and trying to put it all together. But the interest remains high and just trying to make sure that it’s the right situation and the right fit.”

Already this year, deals have been announced for multiple charters.

In June, Kaulig Racing announced it would acquire two charters from Spire Motorsports for next season and field two Cup entries. Justin Haley will drive one car full-time. AJ Allmendinger will drive the second car in select races.

Trackhouse Racing announced in June that it would purchase Chip Ganassi Racing, effective at the end of the season. The deal would include Ganassi’s two charters. Trackhouse Racing will field two cars in 2022. Daniel Suarez will remain with the team. A second driver has not been announced.

A charter not only guarantees a team a starting spot in a Cup race but also guarantees revenue stream for teams to help better plan budgets at the beginning of a season. There are 36 charters in Cup.

JRM isn’t the only team examining the charter market.

23XI Racing, co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, also seeks to expand to a second car as early as next year. GMS Racing also has announced plans to run in Cup next year, although the team’s announcement did not state if it would run a full-time schedule or select races.