NASCAR confirms Charter system, 40-car fields for 2016

Official details have finally been released regarding the new ownership structure for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

NASCAR confirms Charter system, 40-car fields for 2016
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NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France
Rob Kauffman
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Chip Ganassi, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
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Rick Hendrick
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Richard Petty
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The new ownership structure is effective immediately and results in the reduction of Sprint Cup fields from 43 to 40 cars. 36 Charters will be granted with the final four spots on each grid made up of 'open' teams.

NASCAR plans to look at adjusting the points system to coincide with the reduced size of fields and the qualifying format with more details expected to be provided on Thursday. Four is the maximum number of Charters that a team can own. With the Charters being transferrable, a potential buyer must first be approved by the sanctioning body.

“Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR,” France said in a press conference. “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.” 

Kauffman comments

The car owners that have been granted Charters are guaranteed starting spots in each and every Sprint Cup points race, giving organizations more long-term security and stability. The system also provides teams in increase in their long-term market value. NASCAR icon Richard Petty called its implementation the "second biggest thing that’s ever happened in NASCAR."

“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,” added Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing and chairman of the Race Team Alliance.

“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.”

The 36 Charters

Below is a comprehensive list of the 36 Charters going into the 2016 season. Of note, there are two Charters from the now defunct Michael Waltrip Racing up for grabs. Rob Kauffman confirmed today that those two Charters will transfer to the No. 41 Stewart Haas Racing and No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing entries.

Motorsport.com understands that Jay Robinson (No. 62 Premium Motorsports) has leased his charter to HScott Motorsports and the No. 46.

The No. 21 of Wood Brothers Racing -- one of the oldest operations in the history of stock car racing, is a team of note that does not possess Charter.

2015 Car # 2016 Car # Organization
43 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
9 44 Richard Petty Motorsports
3 3 Richard Childress Racing
27 27 Richard Childress Racing
31 31 Richard Childress Racing
2 2 Team Penske
22 22 Team Penske
5 5 Hendrick Motorsports
24 24 Hendrick Motorsports
48 48 Hendrick Motorsports
88 88 Hendrick Motorsports
6 6 Roush Fenway Racing
16 16 Roush Fenway Racing
17 17 Roush Fenway Racing
1 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
42 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
11 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
18 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
20 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
15 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing
55 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing
4 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
14 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
78 78 Furniture Row Racing
35 34 Front Row Motorsports
38 38 Front Row Motorsports
47 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
7 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing
13 13 Germain Racing
32 32 Go Fas Racing
23 23 BK Racing
83 83 BK Racing
62 62 Premium Motorsports
33 95 Circle Sport Racing
51 15 HScott Motorsports

 

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