RELATED: NASCAR announces landmark new ownership structure
NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, to announce a landmark long-term agreement on an owner Charter system.
The agreement provides teams with an increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to continue to produce best-in-class racing.
Below are fast facts about the comprehensive agreement.
• This long-term agreement is for nine years.
• There are 36 Charter teams, currently from among 19 organizations. The number 36 was not pre-determined -- NASCAR analyzed which teams showed a long-term commitment to the sport by attempting to qualify every week for the past three years. That criteria yielded 36 Charters.
• Because of the above criteria, the following teams were not initially awarded Charters: the No. 19 of Joe Gibbs Racing (which purchased a Charter from Michael Waltrip Racing), the No. 21 of Wood Brothers Racing, the No. 41 of Stewart-Haas Racing (which purchased a Charter from Michael Waltrip Racing) and the No. 46 of HScott Motorsports (HScott reached agreement with Premium Motorsports for its Charter in 2016. This Charter was later sold by Premium to Furniture Row Racing.) Late in 2016, the No. 7 of Tommy Baldwin Racing sold its charter to Leavine Family Racing. In 2017, the No. 16 Charter of Roush Fenway Racing will be leased to JTG Daugherty Racing's second team. For 2017, the No. 15 Charter of HScott Motorsports was sold to Premium Motorsports. The No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing is leasing the No. 32 Charter of Go Fas Racing in 2017, while Go Fas Racing is leasing the No. 44 Charter of Richard Petty Motorsports.
• A Charter guarantees entry into the field of every Sprint Cup Series points race. Qualifying speeds still determine the lineup.
• Sprint Cup Series fields will shift from 43 cars to 40 cars. That means 36 Charter teams are guaranteed to make every points race, and four non-Charter (or "open") teams will complete the rest of the field.
• Charter owners may transfer their Charter to another team, for one full season, once over the first five years of the agreement.
• Charter teams are held to a minimum performance standard. If a Charter team finishes in the bottom three of the owner standings among all 36 Charter teams for three consecutive years, NASCAR has a right to remove the charter.
• Teams may sell their Charters on the open market.
• Organizations now have a hard cap of four cars; there will be no fifth car for rookie drivers.