There are multiple teams in search of a charter that will guarantee entry into every race in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. However, obtaining one is easier said than done as prices continue to rise to eight figures.
The Sports Business Journal reported on November 2 that the next charters sold will go for “at least $12 million.” This price will mark a 100% increase from the charters that sold in 2020 for an estimated $6 million, sources told SBJ’s Adam Stern.
Kaulig Racing was the first organization to crack this price threshold with the purchase of two charters from Spire Motorsports. NASCAR and its teams do not divulge financial details about transactions, but sources told SBJ that Kaulig paid $8 million and $10 million for the two charters. There is no information currently available about the Chip Ganassi Racing charters that Trackhouse Racing purchased.
Multiple Teams Still Need Charters for the 2022 Season
While the overwhelming majority of organizations have charters in place for the 2022 season, there are others that still need to make a deal. 23XI Racing continues to pursue a charter for Kurt Busch’s No. 45 Toyota Camry while GMS Racing has goals of securing one for Ty Dillon’s No. 94 Chevrolet Camaro.
GMS team president Mike Beam told reporters on October 10 that his pursuit of a charter was “an ongoing soap opera.” He also noted that the team would run open during the 2022 season if they can’t secure a charter. They would just need Dillon to qualify for every race on the schedule.
Spire Motorsports will add some intrigue ahead of the 2022 season. The team with two entries in the Cup Series could be both a buyer and a seller. Spire currently has a charter for Corey LaJoie’s No. 7 Chevrolet after selling two of its charters to Kaulig Racing, but the organization could add another before 2022.
23XI Racing was deep in talks with Front Row Motorsports, prompting co-owner Denny Hamlin to say that he had a charter in hand for the No. 45. However, FRM walked away from the deal in mid-October. Hamlin reiterated after the talks fell apart that he and 23XI Racing remained committed to expanding to a two-car operation.
NASCAR Introduced the Charter System in 2016
On February 9, 2016, NASCAR and the team owners came together in Charlotte to announce the future of stock car racing. They unveiled the charter system, which essentiallyn turns each team into a franchise.
NASCAR announced that 36 teams would have charters, a number determined after examining the three prior seasons and the teams that attempted to qualify for each race on the schedule. The remaining four spots would be “open,” meaning that other teams would have the opportunity to qualify for the races.
The teams tested out the charter system during the 2016-2019 seasons, resulting in another major move. NASCAR President Steve Phelps announced on February 14, 2020, that the owners had extended the charter agreement through the 2024 season.
“The Charter agreement is delivering stability and long-term value to existing team owners while providing a clear path for ownership in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Phelps said in a statement. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the team owners that extends the length of the Charter system until 2024. A healthy ownership structure ensures strong, competitive racing for our fans, which is a goal the industry collectively shares.”