It’s saying something when the head of your sport looks at a spending cap as a way to control expenses. We’re used to hearing this in the NFL and other leagues, but it’s a new thing for NASCAR. But you know the saying, “drastic times call for drastic measures”.
It’s not clear if NASCAR chairman Brian France is feeling drastic, but clearly, he’s feeling some economic pain.
“There’s a lot more we can do, and we’re going to do it,’’ France told NBC Sports at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “That’s what the charter opportunity gives the chance to do. We’re working with (teams) to see how we can control expenses in a way that has not been done in motorsports before.’’
France met with Richard Petty Motorsports majority owner Andrew Murstein and New York Giants owner John Tisch in New York over the summer to discuss what a spending cap for NASCAR teams would look like. But that’s only part of the issue. Teams are having a harder time finding sponsorships, some forced to close up shop and sell assets to other teams.
Denny Hamlin suggested this past week that the TV money being generated needs to find its way to the teams and drivers.
“The pie has to be shifted for sure,” Hamlin said Wednesday. “The TV dollars coming into NASCAR is higher than it’s ever been, but we’re seeing fewer and fewer teams, and it just can’t survive. So it economically doesn’t make sense. The pie, the amount of TV money that the race teams share, has to go up, in my opinion.”
Among other ideas being discussed and new 2018 rule changes for NASCAR: teams will be required to use 13 short block engines for two full race weekends, and can only use one engine for Daytona Speedweeks. NASCAR is also considering further limiting on-track activity.