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DATE News (chronologically)
10/09/05
NASCAR
NASCAR could pass rule to hurt Toyota  UPDATE #2 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, This could lead to a breakaway series, because Ford likes what it has with the mega management of guys like Jack Roush, Robert Yates, and GM likes Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, and Dodge likes Penske and Evernham. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles. Dear Mordichai, NASCAR will find a way to appease the mega teams. If they don't, then you will have unhappy team owners and unhappy manufacturers, which could result in a breakaway series just to keep everyone employed. Perhaps some of the mega teams will also run cars in the soon-to-be Mexico and Canadian divisions of NASCAR. Mark C. 10/08/05 NASCAR plans to limit the number of teams a car owner will be able to field in the Nextel Cup series, chairman Brian France said Saturday.  ``We're going to make some adjustments in policy to balance the playing field a little better and really go after new ownership in the industry, really benefit and help the teams like the Wood Brothers, the Pettys, Cal Wells, independent teams that are finding themselves in ever increasing difficulties to compete.''

`It won't happen tomorrow,'' France said. ``But it would phase down from five to four to some other number.''

``We don't like the fact that the independent teams, or in particular a new owner looking at coming in the door, have a daunting task to compete, and the concept of having to have five teams, three teams ... that's why you haven't seen a lot of new ownership like a Ray Evernham come into the sport,'' France said.

``That means the opportunities aren't there for young drivers. It means opportunities aren't there to create the next Rick Hendrick and have the success. ``It ultimately means that we don't field as many competitive cars as we'd like to field. We're going to have to address that.''   

Roush wasn't happy with the news.

``Responding to the meeting and anything that might have happened in it is something I can't do because I'm ignorant of what happened,'' Roush said. ``And the reason I'm ignorant in this case is because I was given neither the consideration nor the courtesy of either being consulted or informed of what they'll do or what they might do or what they're considering doing.

``The thing that I will say to all the fans and all the sponsors and all the drivers and all the many people that are important to us is that we're committed to this business. We've made a huge investment in it. I've raised myself to do what I'm doing today, as have many people who have put their trust in me, and we won't let them down.''

But Roush stopped short of giving NASCAR an ultimatum.

``Having said that,'' he added, ``we will cooperate and participate with NASCAR at any level with any part that they'll let us have to have rules and process and mores that are both understandable, defensible and are in the best interest of the sport and the business. And, so, whatever rules they come up with, we're in.''

``Once you build an organization up, the ability to start another team is so much more efficient for you than to start one up from scratch,'' Jeff Gordon said.

``I would hope that if they're thinking in that direction, they're also thinking of franchising those teams as well because there's just such a big investment that goes into it. Once you start a team it would be nice to know there's value in that team beyond just the ability to pull sponsorship and put good race cars out there on the racetrack.''

09/11/05 NASCAR is looking at putting a cap on the number of Nextel Cup teams that can be owned by one organization, chairman Brian France said Saturday. France said the consideration was not prompted by the fact Roush Racing has five drivers inside the top 10 heading into Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway. France said he is more concerned new owners won’t be able to break into the sport if they feel it’s impossible to compete without a minimum of three teams. France did not indicate what the cap number might be, but he said existing teams would not be penalized “for operating within the rules.” France doesn’t anticipate significant changes, if any at all, to the points system used to determine the championship chase. He said there are no plans to extend the 400-point cutoff. The only adjustment he could see would be awarding more points for the winner. The State [Editors' Note: So if we understand what France said, any existing big teams can remain, but after that no more 5-car teams like Roush has will be allowed. So the existing manufacturers can all have their 3, 4 and 5 car teams established before the rule goes into effect and before Toyota comes in. Many in the NASCAR paddock are fearful that Toyota will throw a lot of money into NASCAR and buy the best teams and talent, so this may be an attempt to ensure Toyota teams will never get too big and powerful.]
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