Penske: Teams will have to make sacrifices to cut costs in NASCAR

Team Penske owner Roger Penske says the next big issue NASCAR needs to address is cost reduction and he readily admits teams will be the first to balk.

Penske: Teams will have to make sacrifices to cut costs in NASCAR
Roger Penske, Owner Team Penske
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Roger Penske, Owner Team Penske
Raj Nair, Ford Peformance; Roger Penske, Team Penske; Jack Roush, Roush Fenway Racing; Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing
Race action
Jim Campell, Chevrolet; Richard Childress; Owner Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi, Owner Chip Ganassi Racing; Rick Hendrick, Owner Hendrick Motorsports
Race action
Ed Laukes, Toyota; Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing; Barney Visser, Furniture Row Racing

“I think the next big step we’ve got to make is cost reduction within NASCAR. People have to give up things that maybe we think we’ve got a competitive advantage, we have to give up some of that stuff to get there,” Penske told a group of reporters last weekend at the IndyCar Series opener in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“That’s always the case, someone thinks they’ve got an edge and don’t want to give it up.”

The implementation this season of the five-minute clock to work on body damage before a car has to return to the garage for the remainder of the race was a step in the right direction, Penske said.

“It might be a little too short. Quite honestly, I think they’ll figure that out,” he said. “They’ve got electronic (timing) in the box, so it’s not a case of timing it with a stopwatch.

“We don’t have to bring these extra guys to the track, and paying for a (pit) wagon with all the stuff on it, the crash cart. It’s saving a couple of hundred thousand (dollars) at least.”

The effect of the charter system

The creation of the charter system in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series added value to NASCAR team ownership. However, that value fluctuates depending on the number and quality of owners wishing to obtain one for themselves.

“Being able to lease them or sell them has worked. At least then you know you’re going to get a start,” Penske said. “I remember there was a time we were playing this game, paying people money to get their starting position at the Daytona 500, to be sure to start when you’ve got a new sponsor bringing 100 people!

“I think it gives value, and there wasn’t much bumping in qualifying going on anyhow.”

The double-edged sword that is shortened race weekends

One of ideas NASCAR and tracks are exploring this season in at least three weekends, is holding Cup series qualifying and the race on the same day.

Penske, however, may not be a big fan if the financial situation changes dramatically as a result.

“We need to have that ‘show and tell’ (like garage tours), there’s no question. If we’re going to have a two-day show we need qualifying on a Saturday I think,” he said.

“I tell you one thing, if they start hurting our commercial value with the schedule, then you’ll see me start putting my hand up.”

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