NASCAR needs to be careful not to let owners run the show
As most of you have heard, there is going to be a new charter system for the NASCAR team owners coming down the pike pretty soon.
It likley will be something akin to franchising like we see in the National Football League. In the past, car owners were viewed as independent contractors by the sport — but this new system would give the owners some equity in the sport and make their team more monetarily valuable.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I have mixed emotions about this. If you took a blank sheet of paper, drew a line down the middle and listed the pros on one side, then the cons on the other, I’d be willing to bet I could fill both columns up pretty significantly.
Yes, it does give the owner some equity in the sport, which they honestly haven’t had before. This might go a long way into enticing new owners to come into the sport, and that’s obviously a positive.
Again, the current system is a team owner is basically on his own in NASCAR. He can invest millions, but if he loses a primary sponsor and can’t get another, then he could be forced to sell his equipment/property for pennies on the dollar. This new system will establish a value to that ownership. So that part I also like.
But I have been in this sport for 35 years and our sport as a whole is closing in on being 70 years old. Our sport was built, grew and became popular on the sanctioning body controlling the sport. So when I hear about race-team alliances and driver councils it concerns me to a certain extent.
I think it’s very beneficial that our sanctioning body listens to and has an ongoing dialogue with the owners and the drivers in our sport. I just don’t think you can let either or both start controlling the sport.
So that part of this has me a little worried. It’s human nature, but sometimes these owners and drivers aren’t going to plead for things that are good for the sport. They are going to push for things they believe will give them an advantage.
At the end of the day, I think this new charter system will be good for the sport. I think it’s been a long time in coming but I’m thankful that it’s almost here. It’s the race-team alliances and driver councils that have me a little skeptical.
I liken NASCAR to being a parent. You have to be open to listening to your kids, but at the same time you have to be bold enough to do what is right for the sport.