‘Nascar team ownership interest never been so high,’ claims Steve Phelps

US racing series president responds to reports of discord over new TV rights revenue split.
  • Teams are set to get larger share of revenue in next TV deal
  • Dodge’s talks about re-entering Nascar have stalled

Nascar president Steve Phelps has claimed that interest in team ownership “has never been as high as it is right now” following talks with owners over the revenue split in the next TV rights deal.

Months of private disagreements became public when Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon, 23XI Racing investor Curtis Polk, Joe Gibbs Racing president Dave Alpern, and RFK Racing president Steve Newmark recently voiced their concerns over the current model.

However, Phelps has told the Sports Business Journal (SBJ) that Nascar is “going to give the teams more money from a revenue perspective”, while insisting greater cooperation is required “on the expense side of things” in order to achieve “balance”.

Teams are seeking an increase on their current 25 per cent cut of the broadcast contract and are also said to be unhappy with their seven per cent cut of central Nascar revenues.

Despite these issues, Phelps has claimed that interest has never been higher in the series from potential new entrants, with a “pipeline” of potentially interested partries. However, he also pointed out that Nascar wants to retain “the people who want to be here”.

The Nascar president's bullish statement comes during a period where the series currently has only three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) competing and talks with US brand Dodge talks over potentially re-entering have stalled, according to the SBJ. Dodge last competed in Nascar in 2012, but it left after winning a championship in partnership with Team Penske.

Reasons for the talks cooling have not been reported, but a new Nascar programme would be a significant financial investment for Dodge, which might want to watch as the series transitions to hybrid vehicles.

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