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Each organization in the Cup Series is represented on the council, which is one of several that have regularly scheduled meetings with NASCAR officials.
While no official reason for the owners’ absence was given, several news reports cited unnamed sources indicating it was related to the ongoing negotiations between NASCAR and Cup teams over the renewal of charter agreements.
The current Cup Series charters and NASCAR’s current TV deal both expire at the conclusion of the 2024 season.
Charters, first introduced in 2016, guarantee a team a spot in the field in each Cup series race and a portion of the purse.
A representative of the team negotiating committee said the group – which presented NASCAR a seven-point proposal last year to change its business model that was rejected – would have no formal statement.
In response to a request for comment, NASCAR provided the following statement:
“NASCAR is committed to open and productive dialogue on a regular basis with all industry stakeholders. We remain committed to continuing discussions in the spirit of collaboration and with the shared goal of growing our sport for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
In skipping the meeting, the owners and their representatives may have technically violated the current charter agreement which obligates all parties that “such regular meetings must be attended in person.”
However, there does not appear to be any penalty involved for the violation.
All current charter members had until the end of February 2023 to indicate whether they wished to renew their individual agreements and all did so, a NASCAR spokesperson confirmed.
The current charter agreement states the “negotiating window” for new agreements is to take place during the final six months of the 2023 season, although NASCAR voluntarily agreed to begin discussions last year.
If individual charter agreements are not renewed by the end of 2023, they will be set to expire at the conclusion of the 2024 season.
In an interview with Motorsport.com earlier this year, Steve Newmark, president of RFK Racing and a member of the negotiating team, said he saw “a path forward” on a new revenue-sharing deal.
“The issue right now is the teams, from an economic perspective, are struggling. Our financial model doesn’t work but the sport is still thriving,” he said.
“Because of that we know there is a path forward to figure it out. It’s going to take a lot more work. It make take two steps backwards, one step forward. It’s not a lot different than what a lot of other sports have gone through.”