Race Team Alliance, Inc. announced on Wednesday that they have expanded their membership to include 18 full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which makes 37 full-time entries.
“One of the early goals of the Race Team Alliance was to expand our membership, and after only a month in existence, we have accomplished that goal,” Rob Kauffman, the RTA’s elected chairman, said. “We now have virtually all the full-time teams participating. I think the membership as a whole is enthusiastic to get to work on some of the other items on our agenda, in particular some of the cost areas and marketing opportunities we have already identified.”
The RTA membership includes:
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
Go Green / FAS Lane
Joe Gibbs Racing
Michael Waltrip Racing
Phil Parsons Racing
Richard Childress Racing
Richard Petty Motorsports
Roush Fenway Racing
Tommy Baldwin Racing
Back in the beginning of July, it was announced that nine multi-car Sprint Cup Series teams had formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The original 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”. The group plans to explore ways to make the business aspect of NASCAR better for the long-term health of the sport.
The following teams were part of the RTA at the time of the original announcement: 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.
Brett Jewkes, NASCAR Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, released a statement back in July saying that NASCAR is aware of the RTA but hasn’t heard a lot of specifics about it.
“It is apparently still in development and we’re still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now,” Jewkes added. “NASCAR’s mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we’ll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will.”
It was since discussed by Brian France Jr. and NASCAR head-brass that all discussions between NASCAR and the RTA would be discussed through lawyers, and that France didn’t approve of the RTA.
“The one thing that is essential to NASCAR is, when you hear one voice, that would probably be the worst thing that we could ever do, is listen to one voice, even if it was a consensus voice,” France said during an appearance last month on Sirius/XM radio. “Every decision we’ve ever made that’s important, the more input, the more people we heard from, the better the results. That will never change in the business model of NASCAR because good ideas come from all over the place. … We need to talk to the teams directly.”