NASCAR Formally Unveils Sprint Cup Charter System

by February 9, 2016

After several months of deliberations regarding the details surrounding it, NASCAR officially pulled the covers off of its new Charter system for the Sprint Cup Series on Tuesday afternoon.

With the new system, 36 Charters have been provided to 36 full-time teams that will guarantee entry for each team for every single points race to be held this season.

Also to be new for the 2016 season with the addition of the system is a shortened race grid for each points race with grids being cut to 40 drivers – down from 43.

The goal of the implementation of the new system is to provide long-term stability for the sport and its team owners.

“Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said. “The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors.

“The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members.”

With the new Charter system, teams will be afforded the opportunity to generate more predictable revenue for Chartered teams across the length of the nine-year agreement.

With guaranteed entry into a points race with the possession of a Charter, teams can focus more time and energy into their respective futures, setting teams up for more opportunities for growth.

Also formed amongst the race teams is a new Team Owner Council, a non-voting entity that will have input on competitive and marketing matters facing the sport.

“The new Charter program strengthens each of our businesses individually and the team model as a whole, which is good for NASCAR, our fans, drivers, sponsors and the thousands of people who we employ,” Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing and Chairman of the Race Team Alliance, said. “This will give us more stability and predictability, and it will allow us to take a more progressive, long-term approach to issues.

“NASCAR and the teams share a desire to preserve, promote and grow the sport and ultimately produce great racing for our fans and partners.

“These common goals served as the foundation for discussions and helped bring us to this unprecedented agreement.

“This is a great step forward for the entire sport made possible by Brian France setting a new course for the NASCAR industry and the owners coming together on shared issues.

“Everyone involved then compromised a bit to be able to come up with something that worked for all.”

2015 full-time teams that are currently left without Charters include Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19, Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 41 and Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 46 teams.

Teams from 2015 that currently do hold a Charter yet aren’t scheduled to compete in 2016 are Michael Waltrip Racing’s two full-time race teams.

During the press conference at the Charlotte Convention Center that rolled out the Charter system, Kauffman confirmed that he is currently in negotiations to transfer Michael Waltrip Racing (which he was a co-owner of)’s two charters to Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing.

2016 Chartered Sprint Cup Teams

  1. 43 – Richard Petty Motorsports
  2. 44 – Richard Petty Motorsports
  3. 3 – Richard Childress Racing
  4. 27 – Richard Childress Racing
  5. 31 – Richard Childress Racing
  6. 2 – Team Penske
  7. 22 – Team Penske
  8. 5 – Hendrick Motorsports
  9. 24 – Hendrick Motorsports
  10. 48 – Hendrick Motorsports
  11. 88 – Hendrick Motorsports
  12. 6 – Roush Fenway Racing
  13. 16 – Roush Fenway Racing
  14. 17 – Roush Fenway Racing
  15. 1 – Chip Ganassi Racing
  16. 42 – Chip Ganassi Racing
  17. 11 – Joe Gibbs Racing
  18. 18 – Joe Gibbs Racing
  19. 20 – Joe Gibbs Racing
  20. — – Michael Waltrip Racing
  21. — – Michael Waltrip Racing
  22. 4 – Stewart-Haas Racing
  23. 10 – Stewart-Haas Racing
  24. 14 – Stewart-Haas Racing
  25. 78 – Furniture Row Racing
  26. 34 – Front Row Motorsports
  27. 38 – Front Row Motorsports
  28. 47 – JTG Daugherty Racing
  29. 7 – Tommy Baldwin Racing
  30. 13 – Germain Racing
  31. 32 – Go FAS Racing
  32. 23 – BK Racing
  33. 83 – BK Racing
  34. 62 – Premium Motorsports
  35. 95 – Circle Sport Racing
  36. 15 – HScott Motorsports

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images