Monday, September 20, 2021

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Mike Helton says NASCAR will continue business as normal – despite RTA announcement

On the heals of the announcement of the Race Team Alliance announced, NASCAR president Mike Helton addressed the media on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with regards to the series’ thoughts. A simple take away from his statement – they’re going about business as usual without issues.

“We have great respect for our stakeholders, so any perception there could be animosity based on this topic is incorrect,” Helton said. “Part of our method of operation over the last six decades is to make decisions by listening to a lot of individual stakeholders in the garage area. Every car owner in here has a voice – crew members, drivers, crew chiefs. We take that input and make what we think are the best decisions that are good for the whole sport. We will continue to operate that way. Our intention is to build NASCAR collectively.”

Seeing that the RTA is set to help build the sport based on their intentions, Helton feels comfortable with what they’re doing right now.

“We take very serious our responsibility to make decisions in this sport, in the garage area, for the race tracks and the other partners that we have,” Helton commented. “Part of that responsibility is to have a sport that has a great product at great race tracks for our fans – and the owners have been very clear that that is their intention, too. So, we stand together, very clearly, on that.

On Monday, the nnouncement was made when nine multi-car Sprint Cup Series teams announced that they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). 

The press release from the RTA states that their purpose is “to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing”. This group of nine plans plans to explore ways to make the business aspect of NASCAR better for the long-term health of the sport.

The following teams are part of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske. The organization has stated that they intend to open up membership to all full time NSCS teams.

Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.

“With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group.” said Kauffman. “The key word is ‘Collaboration’. We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues – the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners.”

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