2018 NASCAR Corporate and Rules News

Jim France, Lesa France Kennedy among sports’ most influential: In the Sports Business Journals annual ranking of the 50 most influential people in sports business, Jim France and Lesa France Kennedy came in at No. 35. They were the only NASCAR figures included on the list.[More](12-22-2018)

John Henry interested in buying a stake in NASCAR: Billionaire John Henry has shown interest in buying a stake in NASCAR, potentially adding to a sports empire that includes the Boston Red Sox and the Liverpool Football Club, people familiar with the situation said.[More](12-18-2018)

Phelps says NASCAR is in transition: Asked if NASCAR is in a flux or transition, [NASCAR president Steve] Phelps didn’t hesitate with an answer. “We’re in a transition and I’m excited about the transition we’re in,” he said during a lengthy telephone interview Thursday. “I think the industry – broadly – understands what we are trying to do, which is put on the best and most compelling racing we can and grow this sport.”[More](12-17-2018)

Sportradar signs multi-year partnership with NASCAR: NASCAR has shown a strong commitment to protecting the integrity of their sport by announcing a multi-year partnership with Sportradar’s Integrity Services, the world’s leading supplier of sports betting-related monitoring, education, investigation and consultancy services. As part of the agreement, Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) will monitor domestic and global betting activity for signs of nefarious activity for all races across NASCAR’s three largest series.[More](12-11-2018)

Fanatics ending trackside deal with NASCAR early UPDATE: Fanatics is terminating its NASCAR trackside deal after this year, according to sources, marking an early end to what was originally a 10-year deal that was set to run through ’24. Fanatics started managing the at-venue merchandise sales efforts for almost the entire sport starting in ’15 as part of a deal that was supposed to be lucrative for Fanatics and revolutionary for the NASCAR industry, which transitioned from using haulers to a tent model for the first time in its history.(11-2-2018)
UPDATE: The NASCAR industry in 2019 will go back to the era of having different merchandisers after unsuccessful attempt at finding industrywide solution to replace Fanatics.[More](12-10-2018)

NASCAR, Race Team Alliance, 704Games collaborate for NASCAR Esports League: NASCAR, Race Team Alliance and 704Games announced today a collaboration that will create the first-ever NASCAR esports league on consoles, eNASCAR Heat Pro League. The newly formed esports league will feature up to 16 race teams and 32 drivers, each owned and operated by prominent NASCAR race teams.[More](12-6-2018)

NASCAR taps Deloitte to audit team finances: Move could set stage for cap or other rules for how much teams can spend.[More](12-4-2018)

NASCAR moving forward with new sponsorship model: NASCAR is asking around $20 million for top-tier slots in its proposed new sponsorship model, close to double original estimates, according to sources. The plan is to move away from one title sponsor in place of a tiered system, similar to the one used by the NCAA. The premier series would simply be called the NASCAR Cup Series.[More](12-3-2018)

Liberty Media could have an interest in NASCAR: Liberty Media currently owns a stake in Formula One. In a recent interview, CEO Greg Maffei was asked about the company’s interest in a possible purchase of NASCAR. [More](11-25-2018)

NASCAR considering streaming service? However, due to TV contracts they could not show live national series races.[More](11-20-2018)

NASCAR President Steve Phelps sees exciting days ahead for the sport: With a new rules package coming in 2019 for NASCAR’s foremost series, with significant schedule changes under consideration for the year after that, and with a groundswell of new corporate interest in the sport as a marketing vehicle, NASCAR President Steve Phelps was upbeat when he took questions from reporters on Sunday morning before the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.[More](11-18-2018)

NASCAR makes offer to acquire International Speedway Corporation: NASCAR today announced that it has submitted a non-binding offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock of International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”) not already owned by the controlling shareholders of NASCAR. The intention is to combine ISC and NASCAR as one privately run group of companies led by the France family.[More](11-9-2018)

Comcast no longer discussing purchase of NASCAR: Comcast had been seen as the most likely option for sale of at least a portion of NASCAR.[More](10-23-2018)

NASCAR to eliminate driver adjustable trackbar next season: NASCAR drivers will no longer be able to make in-race trackbar adjustments from their cars in 2019. The news emerged from a Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio by Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition. Miller said that drivers had pushed for the change.[More](10-9-2018)

NASCAR announces 2019 rules package: NASCAR officials announced Tuesday two baseline rules packages for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, making a move to bolster competition with enhanced aerodynamic and engine configurations. The different packages will be tailored to the specific tracks on the Monster Energy Series circuit, with a combination of a smaller tapered spacer to reduce engine horsepower to a target goal of 550 (from 750) and aero ducts to foster tighter racing on a majority of speedways measuring longer than 1 mile. Both features will be in place for 17 of the 36 races next season, excepting the 2019 Daytona 500, which will run with traditional restrictor-plate rules. Five other races will be run with the smaller spacer, but without ducts.[More](10-2-2018)

Team owners approve 2019 rules package: A majority of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams recently voted to endorse a ’19 rules package related to the so-called All-Star Package that was tested in May, according to sources. The exact number of races it will be used for was unclear, but it is said to be most events at 1.5- to 2-mile tracks, which would be around 20 of the sport’s 38 races.[More](9-27-2018)

NASCAR, race teams and Twitter unveil new hashtags and emojis for the Playoffs: To celebrate the 2018 NASCAR Playoffs™, NASCAR®, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ race teams in collaboration with the Race Team Alliance and Twitter have unveiled customized hashtags and emojis for all 16 drivers competing for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship™. For the first time, the Twitter hashtags and emojis will be displayed on the drivers’ race cars beginning with the NASCAR Playoffs kick-off race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway[More](9-12-2018)

NASCAR unveils Regular Season Championship trophies: NASCAR unveiled on Tuesday the three trophies it will hand out to the Regular Season Championship winners across its three national series. Each trophy stands 2 feet tall and weighs approximately 35 pounds, and all three trophies feature a spire for every regular-season race with the name of the track engraved on it (26 for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series, 16 for Camping World Truck Series).[More](8-15-2018)

NASCAR races to Las Vegas headlined by marquee events to launch Monster Energy Cup Series Playoffs: NASCAR heads to the “Entertainment Capital of the World” to kick off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in grand fashion. Las Vegas will be the scene for an action-packed three days as NASCAR’s 16 best drivers and teams of 2018 begin their championship aspirations quest. To celebrate the start of the sport’s postseason and engage fans, the festivities center around three major events: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Media Day; NASCAR Burnout Blvd Fueled by Sunoco (formerly known as Victory Lap); and a two-day Playoffs Party at Fremont Street Experience culminating in a free concert by platinum-selling recording artist Cole Swindell on 3rd Street Stage. [More](8-14-2018)

Brian France taking indefinite leave of absence from NASCAR following arrest: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France will take an indefinite leave of absence following his arrest Sunday night on charges of aggravated DWI and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. Jim France will be interim chairman and CEO.[More](8-6-2018)

NASCAR considering rule change on windshield wipers: Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Monday on “The Morning Drive” that the rule on the windshield wiper blade is expected to change for 2019.[More](7-30-2018)

NASCAR celebrates youth, families in return of Kids Drive NASCAR: Back-to-school can officially wait. For the next three weeks, the NASCAR® industry is bringing summertime racing fun to kids and families with the return of Kids Drive NASCAR, the sport announced today. Beginning this weekend at Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway and culminating Aug. 12 at Michigan International Speedway, children attending NASCAR national series races will take over certain race event responsibilities usually reserved for adults.[More](7-23-2018)

Are teams trying to confuse NASCAR’s laser inspection system? NASCAR has had to stay ahead of teams and continues to update its software algorithm for the Optical Scanning Station (OSS) after teams claim they found a way to “confuse” it with contrasting dark and light colors along the wheel wells and edges of the right rear of the racecar, multiple sources confirmed to Kickin’ the Tires. This is the first season for NASCAR’s at-track OSS, where cars are rolled into a dark tented room and then illuminated with thousands of laser lights that take measurements of all angles of the car. [More](7-17-2018)

Twitter purge strikes NASCAR: The Great Twitter Purge of 2018 was unleashed on the social media world Thursday as millions of fake or hijacked accounts were eliminated, wreaking havoc on follower numbers for NASCAR teams, drivers and media.[More](7-13-2018)

NASCAR industry to salute service members, military spouses on Independence Day weekend: For the third year in a row, NASCAR Xfinity Series™ drivers will bear the names of active military units and installations on their race car windshields during Friday’s Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, part of a continued effort to show appreciation for the United States Armed Forces through NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola.[More](7-3-2018)

NASCAR will not use All-Star aero package again this season: The drafting package used during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend continues to be a discussion point for NASCAR competition officials, tracks, teams, manufacturers and engine builders. The conversation now, though, is centered on how to potentially implement elements of it in 2019 at the earliest. The rules package used at the All-Star Race that included aero ducts, a higher spoiler, plates and an older splitter, will not be used in the Monster Energy Series again in 2018.[More](6-21-2018)

Postseason awards dates and locations announced: NASCAR has announced the dates and locations of its 2018 postseason awards banquets: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards – Thursday, Nov. 29 at Wynn Las Vegas; NASCAR Xfinity Series / NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards – Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.(5-30-2018)

NASCAR to honor military heroes in return of NASCAR Salutes: Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the NASCAR industry will honor United States Armed Forces heroes and their families as part of NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola – a collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who served and continue to defend America today. NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola will commence with “600 Miles of Remembrance” during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the country’s largest Memorial Day weekend celebration.[More](5-22-2018)

Some team owners have growing frustration with NASCAR: Growing tension has emerged between NASCAR and its teams despite efforts to collaborate more in recent years. NASCAR stakeholders have worked to improve the team owner model to make the sport more valuable to current investors and attractive to prospects. That included implementing the charter system in 2016 for team owners in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to form enterprise value. It’s also included working collaboratively on issues ranging from marketing, to rules changes, to controlling costs.[More](5-19-2018)

NASCAR will increase penalties for rear-window violations: So far this season, penalties for such violations have fallen in the middle range of the NASCAR Rule Book’s L1 guidelines.[More](5-16-2018)

NASCAR launches youth esports series on iRacing: NASCAR announced today the formation of a youth esports racing series, the first esports competition created to attract and identify young talent. The series will be hosted on iRacing, the world’s premier racing simulation platform. NASCAR’s youth esports series establishes an easily accessible entry point to real-world racing and provides young competitors with an unparalleled simulation experience on iRacing’s ultra-realistic software.[More](5-9-2018)

France family considering sale of NASCAR? Reuters reports they are working with Goldman Sachs Group.(5-7-2018)
UPDATE: NASCAR President Brent Dewar has told employees the France family “remains dedicated to the long term growth of our sport.” The memo was sent to employees on Tuesday, one day after a media report said the France family was exploring the sale of its stake in the nation’s top auto racing series. [More](5-8-2018)

NASCAR acquires ARCA: In a move designed to strengthen a relationship that dates back more than 60 years, NASCAR announced today the acquisition of the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). Both NASCAR and ARCA, a Midwest-based sanctioning body for stock car auto racing, share a long history: ARCA founder John Marcum raced against Bill France Sr. and worked as a NASCAR official. More recently, the series has provided a valuable platform for talented drivers looking to make it to NASCAR’s national series.[More](4-27-2018)

Debris cautions down considerably this season: Though it appeared to be triggered by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s Ford scarping the wall, the final caution Saturday was sourced to “debris,” marking only the second debris yellow of the season and the first since the season-opening Daytona 500.[More](4-24-2018)

Is NASCAR considering composite bodies for Cup? Following a successful rollout of flange-fit bodies in the Xfinity Series, NASCAR is considering a similar path for the Monster Energy Cup Series as well. Although there has been discussion of implementing composite Cup pieces as early as 2019 on short tracks, a 2020 launch is more likely.[More](4-21-2018)

Restrictor plates at All-Star Race? NASCAR is planning to use next month’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race as a test of the Xfinity Series aero package debuted last season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Motorsport.com has learned. The aero package used in the Xfinity Series last season included a restrictor-plate, but even more importantly, aero ducts on the front spoilers and a taller rear spoiler.[More](4-10-2018)

12 Cup races will have enhanced schedules: NASCAR will again use a new and well-received enhanced schedule format featuring robust driver appearances and fan interaction opportunities at 12 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events this season, beginning with this weekend’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The enhanced schedule will feature two days of Monster Energy Series action while each track will still host three total days of on-track activity.[More](3-21-2018)

NASCAR, Busch Beer announce return of Busch Pole Award: NASCAR and Anheuser-Busch announced today a multi-year agreement that welcomes the global brand back as an Official Partner and designates Busch Beer as the “Official Beer of NASCAR®.” The new partnership builds upon Busch’s industry-wide presence and includes sponsorship of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ Busch Pole Award, rewarding the driver with the fastest qualifying time each week.[More](3-14-2018)

NASCAR Looks To Expand Relationship With Rap Group Migos: NASCAR is working on forming a more lasting partnership with popular rap group Migos, continuing to play off the group’s recent hit song “Motorsport” that some NASCAR drivers recently cross promoted. Through talks between NASCAR and Capitol Records, the racing series and Migos started promoting each other on social media in January and February as drivers like Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace shot videos showing off their cars with the “Motorsport” beat playing in the background.[More](3-7-2018)

Could NASCAR be for sale? While NASCAR said in a statement it’s not for sale, recent developments have fueled speculation and it’s been a major topic of discussion among motorsports execs.[More](2-13-2018)

NASCAR mandates new material for side skirts: Side skirts have been the center of multiple controversies in NASCAR for several seasons, but a NASCAR-mandated construction change could limit the attention this year. On Cup Series cars in 2018, the fender component will be made of composite material (the same being used for Xfinity Series bodies) instead of steel.[More](2-8-2018)

Driver to be docked 2 laps, not parked, if extra crew members repair car: NASCAR will no longer park a driver for the remainder of an event if a team has too many crew members over the wall doing repairs on a crashed vehicle. The penalty — which pretty much knocked Matt Kenseth out of playoff contention at Kansas last year, when a team miscommunication had an extra person go over the wall while the car was under the damaged vehicle policy — has been changed from parking the car for the rest of the race to a two-lap hold.[More](2-7-2018)

Drivers Council still looking at choose rule: One of the changes Denny Hamlin said the Drivers Council discussed last year was the choose rule. That’s what is used at short tracks. The premise is that as drivers cross the start/finish line a lap before a restart, drivers have the option to choose if they want to start on the inside or outside lane. On a track where one groove is significantly better – think the bottom lane at Martinsville – the leaders will all select the bottom. At some point, a driver who could be just inside the top 10 might take the outside lane to have the opportunity to restart in the second or third row. It creates a risk vs. reward scenario and a way to add more intrigue to restarts.[More](2-4-2018)

NASCAR updates National Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year points system: Exactly one month from today, the green flag will wave over what is expected to be the youngest DAYTONA 500 field in NASCAR history. And today, NASCAR announced an update to the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points structure in all three national series, placing a brighter spotlight on some of those young stars. Beginning this season, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year point system will mirror the points structure that awards the season-long championship, including stage points and playoff points, with the eventual Sunoco Rookie of the Year earning the most points throughout the season.[More](1-18-2018)

Is NASCAR considering team budget caps? Across the professional sports landscape financial mechanisms are used to prevent stick-and-ball teams from spending themselves into oblivion while at the same time leveling the playing field to improve competition. But what if NASCAR, at a time when costs to compete remain astronomically high while television ratings and attendance are flat, implemented a cap or tax akin to what others sports leagues have in place?[More](1-12-2018)

NASCAR President talks about Monster sponsorship, other issues: NASCAR has given Monster Energy an extension to determine if it wants to remain the Cup series sponsor. NASCAR President Brent Dewar revealed that Tuesday night in an appearance on Motor Racing Network’s “NASCAR Live” show. Among the other topics Dewar, who is entering his fifth season at NASCAR, discussed was the effort to bring new manufacturers and how soon one could arrive, any tweaks to stage racing and the new pit stop rules.[More](1-10-2018)