Helton: 'Great respect for all of our stakeholders'
July 11, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
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LOUDON, N.H. -- NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday that there is no animosity between the sanctioning body and the newly formed Race Team Alliance, while adding that officials will "continue to operate the way we have for the last six decades."
Helton addressed the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series teams are competing this weekend.
"We've got great respect for all of our stakeholders in the sport," Helton said. "As their business models would evolve from time to time, ours has too. ... Any perception that there could be animosity based on this topic is incorrect and very unfortunate, and we should set that straight very quickly."
The RTA consists of nine multicar teams competing in the Sprint Cup Series. According to a release from the organization, the purpose of the RTA is to "create an open forum for teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote and grow the sport of stock car racing."
Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, is chairman of the RTA. Sprint Cup organizations participating are: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.
Helton said the RTA isn't perceived as a threat to the way NASCAR has done and continues to do business. And that process won't change with the formation of a multi-organizational entity.
"We ... take very serious our responsibility to make decisions in this sport, in the garage area, for the race tracks and the other partners that we've got because we've all worked together for a long time to make a great product," he said. "Part of that responsibility is to have a sport that has a great product at great race tracks for our fans. And the owners have been very clear that that's their intention too, so we stand together very clearly on that.
"Part of our method of operation over the last six decades is to make decisions, and we make those decisions by listening to a lot of individual stakeholders in the garage area. Every car owner in here has a voice, crew members, drivers, crew chiefs. And we take that input and we make what we think are the best decisions that are good for the whole sport. We will continue to operate that way.
"That's our intention to build NASCAR collectively, and we will continue to do that."