NASCAR announced during the week of the Champion’s Banquet in Las Vegas that it had come to an agreement with Monster Energy to become the entitlement sponsor of the sanctioning body’s premier series beginning in 2017. That was about all of the information that either side would give during the announcement, but this week the two not only announced the new name of the series, they also unveiled a new logo that would be replacing the bar mark logo that had been used since 1976.
The new logo that will be used for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be a combination of the new NASCAR logo with the Monster Energy logo that features its own unique green large M. Moving forward, the challenge is now for the tracks and all of those companies that used the old Sprint Cup Series logo to have the new series logo in place for the beginning of the new season in February.
CHARTER CHATTER – After receiving several questions about NASCAR’s Charter system that it uses in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, I am going to attempt to simplify just how it is intended to work. At the start of the 2016 season, NASCAR issued 36 charters that gave those 36 cars a guaranteed spot in each race and a guaranteed base amount of revenue for the season. The guaranteed amount cut down on the amount of money in the bonus fund given out at the end of the season, but the intention was that it would keep those 36 teams financially stable and competing in the sport. The remaining four spots at each stop on the schedule for each race were left to “open” cars that qualify for each race. Those four teams’ base amount of participation revenue is less than 35 percent of that of the charter teams.
The charters are the property of NASCAR, but the sanctioning body does give the individual teams some flexibility in how they use the charter. Teams can lease out their charter for only one year over a five-year span and then must either run it or sell it. The individual teams are free to set their own price on either leasing or selling their charter to another team. A portion of the revenue distributed to a charter team is based on the performance of that car the last three years, plus any car among the three worst charters for three consecutive years can have its charter pulled by NASCAR.
Three charters were sold including one by Premium Motorsports that leased it last year to H. Scott Motorsports. The same charter was sold at the end of the season to Furniture Row Racing that will begin fielding a second team in 2017 after being one of the more successful organizations in the series with only one team with driver Martin Truex Jr.
At least three other charters will be leased next season for various reasons. Some organizations don’t have the sponsorship to race next season while others are looking to lease their charters to teams that will have a greater chance of finishing higher in the points at the end of the 2017 season in hope that it would increase the value of the charter the following year when it goes back to the original owner.
Charters can all but guarantee an organization that it will have enough money to compete the entire season even with very limited sponsorship. That may be the reason that Go Fas has leased the charter from its #32 team to the Wood Brothers for next season. The Wood Brothers team not only will receive the guarantee money that comes with the charter, it now will have the security of knowing it doesn’t have to put so much into qualifying as it will be guaranteed a starting spot that will allow the team to work on more on its race setup. This is one team that will be competitive and will increase the value of the charter when it returns to Go Fas. Every team that will lease its charter this season will wish that team the best as it only pays dividends once the charter reverts back to the original owner.