Race Team Alliance, NASCAR deal could be near

Hendrick Motorsports founder and owner Rick Hendrick said Tuesday he's optimistic a deal can be put in place as early as late this season between NASCAR and the Race Team Alliance to create some sort of permanent value for the teams.

Hendrick did not proffer any specifics about what an arrangement between NASCAR and the RTA, a group that represents the interests of individual NASCAR team owners, would look like. But he did confirm that talks are ongoing.

"I hope it takes place before the end of this year," said Hendrick. Asked if he thought his timetable was realistic, Hendrick said, "I hope so. I want to applaud (NASCAR chairman and CEO) Brian France and NASCAR and (RTA president and Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner) Rob Kauffman and all of the teams, all of the guys that have worked together. Because I'll tell you, one of the most important parts of this deal is when the team owners got together, and our CFOs started looking at how much we were spending, what we were spending, how could we do it cheaper? Whether it's insurance, airplanes."

Kauffman declined comment on what Hendrick said and at press time, two NASCAR officials had not yet responded to e-mails about Hendrick's remarks. FoxSports

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