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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

It is no secret how the charter negotiations between NASCAR and its teams have come to a standstill since January. While the teams have made their intent clear of having more media revenue, the governing body has still not budged. Interestingly, NASCAR is planning a sly move that could not bode well even with the fans.

The 2024 Cup Series has been a delight to watch so far this campaign. However, it could all fall apart if the charter negotiations don’t come to a concrete conclusion soon. In fact, NASCAR’s recent plan to curb its rules for new owners will only make the matter worse.

NASCAR risks infuriating the Cup Series teams with a slight tweak in the charter system clause

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Since 2016, 11 Cup Series teams have run out of business. Naturally, it is understandable why the current team owners are hellbent on having a larger share of the media rights and future revenues. After all, it is not easy to sustain in a demanding sport like NASCAR.

Currently, as reported by the Sports Business Journal, the teams have been demanding four terms in the new charter system. 45% of the traditional media revenue, permanent charters, 33% of new revenue, and greater governance powers. While the fulfillment of these demands looks like a distant dream, NASCAR has been involved in discussions with teams at different times.

In fact, the ruling body has tried meeting teams individually rather than negotiating through its committee, ‘Race Team Alliance’. So far, the efforts have been in vain. Recently, it is rumored that during those individual discussions, NASCAR has hinted at tweaking a clause in the charter system that prevents a family member of the NASCAR owners from being a team owner.

It is important to note that currently, Jim France, the chairman and CEO of NASCAR, has a stake in a team in IMSA. Currently, a clause in the sport prohibits France or any of his family members in the management of NASCAR from owning a stake in a Cup Series team.

Naturally, should this tweak happen and grant owning access to the France family, it would create a lot of chaos given the conflict of interest. Surprisingly, the discussion has come to light just mere days after a cheating scandal surfaced in IndyCar with Team Penske. Certainly, no hardcore NASCAR fan would want such a scenario in the sport.

Unsurprisingly, the possibility of this tweak in the charter system clause enraged the NASCAR fandom.

NASCAR fans are livid with the possibility of the France family receiving equity in a Cup Series team

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At the moment, the Cup Series teams have stood together in their negotiations for the charter system. However, with Denny Hamlin’s recent statements, it could all change in a matter of time. He said, “It’s just a tough situation. Every team does want alittle different things here and there.”

While there are teams wanting to sell charters, there are plenty wanting charters to expand. With this difference in approach, it is bound to create a problem in the negotiations. While the team owners might differ in this regard, having the France family as owners is not a sight any of them would encourage.

In fact, the fans totally discarded the thought when the possibility came to light. One fan on Twitter said, “No way this should happen. The France family owns NASCAR and they’re the governing board of the sport. I think this would be a huge conflict of interest and if I were a team owner why would I allow this for an opposing team and they would have an unfair advantage.”

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Another fan spoke on similar lines when he said, “Bad idea. Already they own most of the tracks. Should not be allowed to own any part of a team. Definite conflict of interest, or at least possibility.” On the other hand, a fan quickly hinted at the France family’s ambitions with this move. He said, “So now the France family wants to triple dip?”

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While criticism was the theme with this possibility, one fan attempted a rational outlook. He said, “If Penske can field an IndyCar team then the France family should be allowed to have a cup team.” While it is an interesting perspective, it is always too sketchy to have sports owners own a team.

In reality, there’s a very slim chance of this possibility coming true. With all the dynamics in the sport, it is certainly a rare scenario, and even NASCAR wouldn’t risk it for the betterment of the sport.