Race Team Alliance
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Race Team Alliance
Race Team Alliance (RTA)
Race Team Alliance.png
Founded2014 (2014)
HeadquartersCharlotte, North Carolina
Location
  • United States
Members
12 (see below)
Key people
AffiliationsNASCAR
Websiteraceteamalliance.com

The Race Team Alliance (RTA) is a 501(c)(6) Delaware not-for-profit business organization that consists of 14 NASCAR Cup Series teams as of 2022. The RTA is intended to increase revenues and budget efficiency for NASCAR Cup Series organizations, as well as to make promotional deals, attract sponsors, market the sports teams and drivers and to present and work with NASCAR in a single voice. It was established on July 7, 2014 and was originally comprised nine teams. The current chairman of the RTA is Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, a former team in the alliance.

History

NASCAR and union-like organizations

NASCAR has always in the past had a negative view of and has resisted union like organizations and the formation of them. In 1965, the sport's pioneers Curtis Turner and Tim Flock were banned after trying to form a union among the drivers and get the Teamsters to represent them, although both were later reinstated.[1] In 1969, NASCAR stars formed the PDA (Professional Drivers Association), led by Richard Petty. Shortly after a boycott of the 1969 Talladega 500 over track conditions the union disbanded, with NASCAR never publicly acknowledging the organization's existence or punishing drivers involved in it.[2]

Formation of the RTA

In 2014, the top race teams in the sport created the Race Team Alliance.[3] The organization structured similar to the former FOTA in Formula One.

Much like with union-like organizations of the past, NASCAR took a negative view with chairman Brian France calling it the "worst thing we could ever do".[4] NASCAR, through president Mike Helton, assured the media that there is no animosity between the RTA and the sanctioning body.[5]

Actions

In May 2018, Jonathan Marshall was appointed as the organization's executive director.[6] The RTA also helped with the organizing of NASCAR Heat Pro League, the esports series of the NASCAR Heat video game series,[7] as well as the idea of the moving the Cup Series car numbers to the front of the center of door from the 2022 season.[8] (A previous experiment, moving the car number rearwards, was tried at the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race.)

Charter system

In advance of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the RTA played an integral role in forming an agreement between NASCAR and the various NASCAR Cup Series competitors on a charter system which would guarantee full-time license holders automatic entrance into every race of the season for nine years. Charters which are transferable were granted to full-time Cup Series teams that had been active in a full-time capacity since at least the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. There are a total of 36 charters, and a new total starting field in each race of 40 providing four "open" spots on the weekly race grid.[9] Failure to field a car, or finishing in bottom three in owner points' standings for three consecutive seasons, results in the loss of that charter, at NASCAR's discretion.[10]

This action was driven by the RTA in an effort to increase the value of the current full-time teams. Two charters granted to the since-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing were sold for over a million dollars apiece to Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart Haas Racing.[11] Charters can also be leased, as in the case of Trackhouse Racing Team leasing a charter from Spire Motorsports for 2021[12] before acquiring Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR operations. In accordance with NASCAR's four-car rule, no organization may possess more than four charters.[10]

The charter system has been criticized as increasing entry barrier for new teams to enter the Cup Series while favoring larger, established teams with multiple cars and allowing smaller ones possessing charters to stagnate on-track.[10] Germain Racing driver Ty Dillon (whose team shut down at the end of 2020 season) claimed that charter system made single-car teams difficult to survive.[13] Following the announcement that Leavine Family Racing was shutting down at the end of the 2020 season, team owner Bob Leavine claimed that the team did not get the most of the charter for what he paid for it.[14][15] Larry McReynolds has stated on NASCAR Race Hub that he would like to disband the RTA, along with drivers and team owners' council.[16] Further criticism of the charter system surrounded the 2021 Bluegreen Vacations Duels when Dillon failed to qualify for that year's Daytona 500 after he lost to Ryan Preece (another driver driving for a non-chartered team), even though both had finished ahead of several slower chartered cars.[17]

Members

Current members

Team Joined Cars Notes
23XI Racing 2021 2
Hendrick Motorsports 2014 4 Founding Member
Joe Gibbs Racing 2014 4 Founding Member
JTG Daugherty Racing 2014 1
Kaulig Racing 2022 2
Live Fast Motorsports 2021 1
Petty GMS Motorsports 2021 2
Richard Childress Racing 2014 2 Founding Member
RFK Racing 2014 2 Founding Member
Spire Motorsports 2021 2
Stewart-Haas Racing 2014 4 Founding Member
Team Penske 2014 3 Founding Member
Trackhouse Racing Team 2022 2
Wood Brothers Racing 2019 1

Former members

Team Joined Left Notes
BK Racing 2014 2018 closed
Chip Ganassi Racing 2014 2021 Founding Member, sold to Trackhouse Racing Team
Circle Sport 2014 2016 merged to form Circle Sport - The Motorsports Group
Front Row Motorsports 2014 2016
Germain Racing 2014 2020 closed
Go Fas Racing 2014 2020 closed
HScott Motorsports 2014 2016 closed
Leavine Family Racing 2017 2020 closed
Michael Waltrip Racing 2014 2015 Founding Member, closed
Phil Parsons Racing 2014 2015 closed
Premium Motorsports 2017 2020 sold to Rick Ware Racing
Richard Petty Motorsports 2014 2021 Founding Member, merged to form Petty GMS Motorsports
Tommy Baldwin Racing 2014 2016

References

  1. ^ "Fireball Says Union Honest". Florence Morning News. Asheville, North Carolina: Berkshire Hathaway. Associated Press. August 11, 1961. p. 13. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Gable, Bryan (2019-10-14). "Up To Speed: The Tale Of The Talladega Boycott, 50 Years Later". www.frontstretch.com. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Ryan, Nate (July 7, 2014). "NASCAR's most powerful teams form Race Team Alliance". USA Today. Charlotte, North Carolina: Gannett Company. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ Gluck, Jeff (July 21, 2014). "NASCAR's Brian France says Race Team Alliance unnecessary". USA Today. Charlotte, North Carolina: Gannett Company. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ Pockrass, Bob (July 16, 2014). "Race Team Alliance must go through lawyers to communicate with NASCAR, ISC". sportingnews.com. Sporting News. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ "RTA hires Jonathan Marshall as first executive director". www.sportspromedia.com.
  7. ^ "NASCAR, Race Team Alliance, 704Games collaborate for NASCAR Esports League". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. 2018-12-06. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Race Team Alliance hires Nielsen to study added value of moving car numbers". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. 2021-05-17. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Huddleston, Jr., Tom (February 10, 2016). "NASCAR Announces New Charter System in Major Structural Shake-Up". Fortune. Time Inc. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ a b c Blackstock, Elizabeth (2020-10-18). "NASCAR Charters: Explained". Jalopnik. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Jensen, Tom (February 9, 2016). "What are NASCAR charters worth? Team co-owner Rob Kauffman has a good idea". Foxsports.com. Fox Sports Digital Media. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ Crandall, Kelly (2020-10-07). "Trackhouse secures Spire charter". Racer.com. Retrieved .
  13. ^ Long, Dustin (2020-09-21). "Germain Racing sells charter, will exit sport at end of season". NBC Sports. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Bob Leavine media teleconference transcript". Jayski's Silly Season Site. 2020-08-04. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Bob Pockrass [@bobpockrass] (August 4, 2020). "Bob Leavine said he could not put the money into the race team to run competitively to risk his 41-year-old construction business. As far as charter, he didn't feel he got out of the charter what he paid for it. #nascar" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Speedway Digest Staff (2018-05-07). "FOX NASCAR Analysts Larry McReynolds & Bobby Labonte Discuss Reported Possible Sale of NASCAR". Retrieved .
  17. ^ Nguyen, Justin (2021-02-12). "Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon win Bluegreen Vacations Duels". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved .

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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