Cup Series charters don’t change hands every day, but this rare business deal did happen this week in NASCAR.
The buyer was none other than Rick Ware Racing, but the team isn’t saying from who it purchased the charter or what specific manufacture it will use for the 2018 season.
Charters were introduced by NASCAR prior to the 2016 season. Basically, a charter guarantees that a car can participate in every Cup Series race on the schedule, regardless of how fast it qualifies. There are currently 36 charters in NASCAR’s top-level of racing, which means the remaining four spots of each race are decided by qualifying results.
So, with its recent acquisition, this means RWR’s No. 51 will compete full-time in 2018. Additionally, RWR will field the No. 52 stock car, but that team will have to earn its way into each race by qualifying well.
RWR also announced plans to upgrade virtually every facet of its organization, from its equipment and number of personal to expanding its 20,000-square-foot shop in Thomasville, North Carolina. What’s more, the team plans to build and acquire a variety of race cars from all three manufactures currently competing in NASCAR, according to NBC Sports.
The last piece of business that RWR has to get in order is its drivers. Last year, the team used six drivers in 29 races. The team’s best-finish was a 28th-place showing at Kansas during the spring race.
With its new charter in hand, RWR’s No. 51 car has a guaranteed spot in the 2018 Daytona 500. Conversely, the No. 52 will have to earn its way into the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing” by performing well in the Daytona qualifying races.
The 60th Daytona 500 is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18th.
Video: NASCAR’s charter system explained