NASCAR’s Initial Proposal For Long-Term Equity Would Grant 36 Guaranteed Spots

NASCAR's initial proposal to team owners regarding building a form of long-term equity in the sport "would give team owners of 36 cars guaranteed spots in a Sprint Cup field reduced from the current 43 cars to 40 cars," according to sources cited by Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com.

Those 36 teams "would be awarded 'charters' — NASCAR's word for what many would term a franchise — that could be sold if a team owner wanted to get out of the sport or cut down the number of full-time cars it fields."

Race Team Alliance Chair and outgoing Michael Waltrip Racing Principal Owner Rob Kauffman declined comment, but sources said that talks "remain fluid and even the plan for number of charters and the size of the field could change."

Pockrass reported under the initial proposal, it appears that to "be eligible for a charter, the current version of the plan requires a team to have been full-time" since '13. That requirement "would affect Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing, which each added a fourth car in the past two years."

It "also could hurt Penske Racing, which is trying to work with Wood Brothers to field a third full-time car in 2016 for Ryan Blaney."

There "likely would be at least two charters for sale — the two controlled by Kauffman from MWR, which will close after this season."

How much a charter is worth "would depend on the bidders." Not only would a charter "come with a guaranteed starting spot, it could come with a guarantee of television money." NASCAR teams get 25% of TV money, "which currently is distributed as a portion of the purse and depends on finishing position."

Team execs "would like to have it done for 2016, with most hopeful it will happen but still some skepticism that it can get done." ESPN.com

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