Charters in the NASCAR Cup Series are here to stay for the foreseeable future. The sport announced in a press release Friday afternoon (Feb. 14) that it agreed with team owners to extend their initial charter agreement through 2024, re-cementing 36 guaranteed spots on the grid for the Cup Series each weekend.
“The Charter agreement is delivering stability and long-term value to existing team owners while providing a clear path for ownership in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Steve Phelps, NASCAR president said in a press release announcing the move. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the team owners that extends the length of the Charter system until 2024. A healthy ownership structure ensures strong, competitive racing for our fans, which is a goal the industry collectively shares.”
The agreement with NASCAR owners started in 2016, granting 36 charters that came with a guaranteed spot for each Cup Series race. These provide them with a consistent income, restructuring the purse to give less money to the four “open” teams that fill out the 40-car field.
Charters can also be bought and sold, giving teams the chance to get a financial return when they close up shop. Furniture Row Racing’s charter sold for $6 million when the team closed its operation following 2018. While notably less than the $2 billion received during the sale of a MLB or NBA team, the sport hopes it’s a baseline from which franchise value can increase over time.
According to Adam Stern, the Race Team Alliance encouraged teams to agree to the deal.