2016 Charter Information

Why are teams swapping charters? It’s part of a complicated NASCAR system designed to encourage performance while also allowing teams to project revenues for a season. At the start of 2016, NASCAR issued 36 charters, giving those 36 cars a guaranteed spot in each race and a guaranteed base amount of revenue for the season. That left four spots available to “open” cars, whose base amount of participation revenue is less than 35 percent of that of charter teams.
Teams can lease out their charter for only one year over a five-year span and then must either run it or sell it. A portion of the revenue distributed to a charter team is based on the performance of that car the last three years; plus any car among the three worst charters for three consecutive years can have its charter pulled by NASCAR.
The move for Go FAS Racing means it will have slightly more guaranteed money next season because the RPM #44 team’s past three-year history is better than Go FAS Racing’s #32 team. It also should make the original #32 charter more valuable for 2018 in two ways — the Wood Brothers should finish higher in the owner standings (it was 21st in the 2016 team standings) and therefore would increase its 2018 guaranteed revenue; and it should eliminate a chance the charter could get revoked following the 2018 season because it most likely won’t be among the three worst charter teams for three consecutive years.(ESPN.com)(12-17-2016)

Charter Performance Clause: If a chartered team finishes in the bottom three among the 36 chartered teams in the owner standings three consecutive years, NASCAR has the right to remove that charter.

Some Charter details: NASCAR provided some details about how the system would work for the four slots available to teams without charters:
-Open teams also will receive a guaranteed amount (referred to as a “fixed purse) as the charter teams do, but it will be much smaller, roughly 30% of the guarantee for a chartered team.
-If fewer than four open teams compete in a race (meaning a field of fewer than 40 cars), the leftover money will be placed in a year-end pool that will be distributed among the top three open teams based on performance. Wood Brothers Racing, which plans to field Ryan Blaney full time in the #21 Ford, is the only open team that has announced intentions to run the full season. NASCAR said: “A field for us is 36 (cars), not 40, so if we get 38 cars at California and Phoenix, we’re not disappointed. We anticipate the logistics model for some of the smaller teams doesn’t make sense to go to all the races, based on the distance and purse.”
-NASCAR isn’t expecting many open teams to employ a start and park strategy (which usually was dependent on the higher purses available to teams that would have been considered open under the previous system). Chartered teams are disincentivized from the controversial practice, risking the loss of a charter if they don’t meet performance standards that haven’t been made public.
Though the winnings won’t be disseminated to the public anymore, teams have been provided extensive documentation that explains how much they’ll receive for finishing in each position of every race.
supposedly that some “open teams” are expecting to earn a minimum of roughly $160,000 for finishing last in the Daytona 500. in 2015, under the race purse that included contingency plans, the last-place finisher earned $262,000.(NBC Sports)

NASCAR ends posting race winnings: Ending a practice of more than six decades, NASCAR has stopped disclosing winnings in Sprint Cup box scores because of its new charter system, whose financial details are emerging. NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar told NBC Sports the decision was made to stop disseminating total purse and individual winnings for each race because “it’s not contemporary” under the new system announced Tuesday that guarantees revenue and race attendance for 36 teams with charters. Another four “open” cars – which don’t have charters that guarantee making the race – could round out each field for a maximum of 40 cars. “It’s a new foundation and a new era,” Dewar said. “We’ve changed a lot of things from that old model to this model. That’s one of the things that was from a different time and place.”
The move, which began with Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited, essentially ends career winnings as a calculable and comparable statistic. NASCAR has supplied race winnings virtually since its 1948 inception (Jim Roper is credited with earning $2,000 for winning the inaugural Strictly Stock race at Charlotte Speedway) and also listed each race’s total purse on entry blanks and box scores. The 2016 Daytona 500 entry blank didn’t contain a total purse or a breakdown of payouts by position. Those standard elements remain on the entry blanks for the truck and Xfinity series – both of which still have a race purse that includes money based on myriad contingency plans and finishing order.
Under the new system, NASCAR has set aside guaranteed revenues for chartered teams based on entering each race and on their performance over the past three seasons. They also will compete for a points fund with more cash. The fourth and final source of income for chartered teams is what traditionally has been called “the purse,” but in this case, it’s dependent solely on finishing position – carved out from the previous contingency plans that rewarded the most competitive teams. The chartered and open teams compete for the same pool of money in what is known as the “variable” purse that is based on results (in addition to the “fixed” purse that offers guaranteed money in much larger amounts for the charter teams). Dewar said it didn’t make sense to provide winnings that are listed according to drivers, which was misleading because the money actually was awarded to teams. Dewar contrasted it to a PGA event, where the listed winnings actually go directly to the golfer. IndyCar takes a similar approach, publishing none of its winnings for races aside from the Indianapolis 500.(in part from NBC Sports)(2-14-2016)

Three Charters Changes Hands: Saturday afternoon brought confirmation of the first sales of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series charters under the new ownership model announced on Tuesday in Charlotte, NC. “Charter for the #41 car (driven by Kurt Busch) has been secured,” Stewart-Haas Racing asserted on its Twitter account during Daytona 500 practice on Saturday afternoon. “SHR officially has 4 charters. #NASCAR”
Joe Gibbs Racing made a similar proclamation a few minutes later. “It’s official!” JGR tweeted. “Today JGR secured a 4th charter to be used for the #19 team (with driver Carl Edwards).” Stewart-Haas and Gibbs obtained their charters from Rob Kauffman, who earned two charters as a principal with Michael Waltrip Racing, which ceased operations at the end of the 2015 season. In discussing the possible purchase of a charter on Friday at Daytona, Stewart-Haas Racing president Brett Frood deflected the question with a joke. “As far as what we paid for it, Rob’s a fairly reasonable guy-well-traveled-enjoys cars, fine dining. We ended up coming to an agreement. We’re going to give him a lifetime supply of Mobil 1 (motor oil) for his cars, and we’re going to deliver Jimmy John’s and Busch beer for the next two years. Good deal!”
On Friday, the day before the official confirmation of the sale of Kauffman’s charters, HScott Motorsports announced it had acquired a charter on a short-term lease basis from Premium Motorsports, owned by Jay Robinson. Team owner Harry Scott said the charter will be used with the #46 Chevy driven by Michael Annett. Scott already had earned a charter for the #15 Chevy, to be driven this year by Clint Bowyer, who will move to Stewart-Haas in 2017.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-14-2016)

More info about the Charters: on Thursday NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that at the end of the nine-year charter term, NASCAR will review the 36 charter holders based on performance. The sanctioning body has “built-in clauses with existing charter holders” outlining attendance and performance expectations, and O’Donnell indicated that perfect attendance will likely be a high priority. Asked whether teams still be allowed to field a fifth car in a limited schedule of races for a planned, next-season Rookie of the Year contender, O’Donnell said the sanctioning body expects to announce a policy “very similar to previous years” in the near future.(Godfather Motorsports)(2-12-2016)

Hamlin says drivers would like to see race winnings published: The introduction of the new charter system – and the subsequent restructuring and distribution of purse money and other revenue streams – caused some feverish preseason reworking of driver contracts. It also caused some hand-wringing among stars who were accustomed to being paid by a percentage of a purse that was posted publicly in every race box score, along with the winnings for each finishing position. Citing the complicated revenue streams, NASCAR discontinued publishing winnings and races purses as part of the new charter system. Five races into the season, Denny Hamlin said concerns have settled about the latter as drivers are being paid as they’d expected, though the contracts vary much more widely than before when virtually every driver drew a defined percentage of the purse as a slice of the overall salary.
Hamlin, though, said drivers would like NASCAR to return to including race winnings in box scores, if only in appealing to fans who grew accustomed to the format. “I think some fans like to see that and us drivers I think we like to see purses posted personally,” Hamlin said.
A NASCAR spokesman said the policy of whether to publish purses currently isn’t being reviewed, but Hamlin believes officials are “considering it. I think if everyone knows what they’re getting, I don’t know what the benefit is from keeping it from the public. I don’t know but there’s probably some sort of reason that I don’t know about.”(NBC Sports)(4-3-2016)

O’Donnell talks about “full fields”, race winnings: Interviewed by the Charlotte Observer, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell talked about various issues including the size of Sprint Cup fields and why race winnings are no longer released:
Q: Although there are four spots available each race for non-charter “open” teams, they haven’t all been filled since Daytona and fields have been composed of 39 of a possible 40 cars. Is that a concern?
O’Donnell: “When we looked at the charter system, we decided to leave four spots open. We didn’t necessarily think those four spots would be occupied at each race and we’d love to maybe have them filled. But we’re concentrating on the quality of the race teams that do show up each week. We’re happy with that. We’ve got 36 teams and whichever open teams that show up and it’s provided quality racing.”
Q: Why is prize money is no longer released after races?
O’Donnell: “All the teams know what they are racing for. It’s listed in the charter agreements. Teams and tracks are aware. We don’t have anything to hide from the team owners and tracks. But it’s something we could continue to look at.”(Charlotte Observer)(3-25-2016)

NASCAR FAST FACTS – 2016 Procedural Changes:
Maximum Field Sizes / Corresponding New Points Systems
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Maximum 40-car field (36 Charter team cars, 4 Open team cars), race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point.
NASCAR XFINITY Series – Maximum 40-car field, race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Maximum 32-truck field, race winner awarded 32 points, 32nd place awarded one point
New points systems apply to driver, owner, and manufacturer championships. Existing 2015 Bonus points remain in place for 2016.(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)

Qualifying – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona 500 Specific
– Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position
– Four Open teams are eligible for starting positions
o The highest finishing Open team in each Can-Am Duel race earns a starting position
o The final two starting positions are awarded to Open teams based on Coors Light Pole Qualifying if not already a top finisher in a Duel race

– Qualifying sets the front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup for the Can-Am Duel fields, with the number of Charter team and Open team cars split evenly throughout both races
– If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the top two finishing Open teams from each Can-Am Duel race earn starting positions in the Daytona 500
– If the second Can-Am Duel race is cancelled due to weather, the highest finishing Open team from the first race earns a starting position, with the other three Open teams determined by qualifying
– If both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, qualifying determines all four Open teams
– If qualifying and both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds are used to determine the four Open teams
– If all on-track activity prior to the race is cancelled due to weather, 2015 Owner points will be used to determine the four Open teams
All Other Championship Race events
– Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position and four Open teams are eligible for starting positions.
– Qualifying results will determine the Open team starting positions assuming the event is run as scheduled
– If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds determine the four Open teams
– If practice and qualifying are cancelled due to weather, Owner points determine the four Open teams (events 1-3 revert to 2015 Owner points)
(looks like no more past champion provisional)(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)

NASCAR Implements Team Owner Charter Agreement for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: During a historic event held today in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners to announce a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing.
In effect as the 2016 NASCAR season prepares to kick off this weekend, the new Charter system addresses three key areas – participation, governance and economics – to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations.
“Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR,” France said. “The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members.”
The system affords Charter teams that remain in good standing more predictable revenue over the nine years of the agreement. Along with improved financial certainty, the new framework is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams and provide the ability to plan farther ahead with existing, new and prospective partners.
Similar to the five-year sanctioning agreements that NASCAR begins with tracks in 2016, team owner Charter agreements allow for longer planning cycles around competition, innovation, digital marketing, governance and research and development.
“The new Charter program strengthens each of our businesses individually and the team model as a whole, which is good for NASCAR, our fans, drivers, sponsors and the thousands of people who we employ,” said Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing. “This will give us more stability and predictability, and it will allow us to take a more progressive, long-term approach to issues.
“NASCAR and the teams share a desire to preserve, promote and grow the sport and ultimately produce great racing for our fans and partners. These common goals served as the foundation for discussions and helped bring us to this unprecedented agreement. This is a great step forward for the entire sport made possible by Brian France setting a new course for the NASCAR industry and the owners coming together on shared issues. Everyone involved then compromised a bit to be able to come up with something that worked for all.”
Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. To maintain the historical openness of NASCAR racing, the balance of the field will be open for team owners who do not hold Charters. These Open team owners will compete for the remaining starting spots and positions in the race, as each event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ starting lineup shifts in 2016 to a 40-car field.
“The new team owner agreements will offer a more appealing environment for both current and prospective team owners at the NASCAR premier series level,” France said. “I’ve always stressed that if we can do things to improve the business of our stakeholders, we will pursue it. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished today with this agreement.”(NASCAR)
read the full announcement press conference transcript on the NASCAR Charter Announcement transcript page.(2-9-2015)

NASCAR Charter teams
(Listed by historical inception of race team entity, then numerical)

2015 Car # 2016 Car # Organization
43 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
9 44 Richard Petty Motorsports
3 3 Richard Childress Racing
27 27 Richard Childress Racing
31 31 Richard Childress Racing
2 2 Team Penske
22 22 Team Penske
5 5 Hendrick Motorsports
24 24 Hendrick Motorsports
48 48 Hendrick Motorsports
88 88 Hendrick Motorsports
6 6 Roush Fenway Racing
16 16 Roush Fenway Racing
17 17 Roush Fenway Racing
1 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
42 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
11 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
18 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
20 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
15 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing
55 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing
4 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
14 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
78 78 Furniture Row Racing
35 34 Front Row Motorsports
38 38 Front Row Motorsports
47 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
7 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing
13 13 Germain Racing
32 32 Go Fas Racing
23 23 BK Racing
83 83 BK Racing
62 62 Premium Motorsports
33 95 Circle Sport Racing
51 15 HScott Motorsports

NASCAR expected to announce charter system Tuesday UPDATE:NASCAR will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon at 1:30pm with NASCAR CEO Brian France where they are expected to announce the details on a new charter system for Sprint Cup teams. The agreement is expected to guarantee a certain number of starting spots in the field to certain owners and shrink the race field to 40 cars. The system would provide owners with additional revenue and give them more value for their teams.
The press conference will be shown online at NASCAR.com.(2-8-2016)(2-8-2016)
UPDATE: Now that the paperwork is signed, how much one of these franchises — “charters” as NASCAR will call them — is worth in the coming years is as big a guess as picking the winner of the Daytona 500. The new system is to guarantee 36 owners a certain amount of revenue as well as starting positions in what will be a 40-car field, down from 43. There would be no buy-in for the initial 36 charters — they will go to owners whose cars have attempted every race since 2013. The owners, who likely will have to meet a performance clause to keep a charter, can opt to sell them to the highest bidder. There currently are 38 full-time teams announced for the 2016 Sprint Cup season, and four would not meet the criteria to get a charter. Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing are expected to purchase two charters from the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing [for the teams of #19-Edwards & #41-Busch]. The other two — #21-Wood Brothers Racing and one of the two HScott Motorsports cars — would either need to purchase a charter from an existing team or have to be among the four at-large qualifiers each week. There have been 41 announced entries for the Daytona 500, although that number could change. The system should give organizations more value to potential investors and buyers. Teams will still need sponsorship to be competitive — sponsorship makes up about 70-75 percent of a team’s revenues. It is likely that whatever MWR owner Rob Kauffman sells his charters for will at least set an initial standard. And it remains to be seen whether future owners will come from racing fans with money or private equity firms.(ESPN.com)(2-9-2016)

NASCAR Charter System Still In the Works: NASCAR and Sprint Cup Series team owners continue to work toward an agreement on a possible charter system. While no official word has been given on when the plan may be put into place that would afford owners equity in the series, several key players have spoken on the subject. “We don’t have it finished and it’s still moving around a little bit,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said earlier this week. “The time line is sooner rather than later. This is a complicated plan and structure that will require some time to phase in. We’ll announce things as soon as we can, but I’m optimistic.” Prominent team owners echo France’s sentiment that the plan will be good for the sport when it’s finally completed.
“There’s been great progress,” said Roger Penske. “I’m not sitting in the meetings myself, but we’ve elected a group of people that understands where we’re trying to go. NASCAR and the car owners have been very open. This is a long-term business relationship we’re trying to develop. It has to be done carefully. We have to think about all the constituents and that’s what’s going on, so I feel good about it. Hopefully, we’ll have an outcome shortly.”
Joe Gibbs believes the idea is right but doesn’t want the sport to rush into an agreement. “When two sides want something to happen, generally you can find a way,” he said. “There’s a lot left to be done. Our best hope is that we get it done before Daytona.”(Motor Racing Network)(1-22-2016)