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NASCAR, team owners still negotiating over charters

The Associated Press obtained a letter last week essentially sent by the entire Cup field to NASCAR that warns a tentative agreement to a new industry revenue breakdown depends on its franchises becoming permanent, rather than renewable. The charter system introduced in 2016 guarantees race entry and earnings to 36 of 40 teams each week, but the charters must be renewed and can be revoked.

The current charters expire at the end of the 2024 season and the teams have made it clear they want them permanent — the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers or any team from a stick-and-ball league don’t have to renew their franchises — and have asked NASCAR for meaningful discussion on why NASCAR opposes the idea.

[Denny] Hamlin said the insistence on making charters permanent is to protect what owners have invested in NASCAR. Through two full seasons of launching a startup team, Hamlin said his investment alone is already $20 million.

“I certainly don’t want to lose my $20 million for sure,” Hamlin said. “It’s just worrisome that it can come down to one person saying they don’t want to renew (the charter). Too risky. Too risky. Got to give us some sort of security.”

To renew a charter beyond the 2024 season, the teams had to inform NASCAR in February of their intent. The negotiating window on renewals is July 1 through Dec. 31; under current terms, NASCAR is supposed to negotiate in good faith and shouldn’t revoke a charter without cause.

Associated Press