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JGR, SHR confirm intent to purchase Charters

Representatives for Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing said Tuesday afternoon that their teams are in the final stages of acquiring Charters from the former Michael Waltrip Racing organization.

RELATED: NASCAR announces landmark new ownership stucture

The news comes shortly after Rob Kauffman -- chairman of the Race Team Alliance, a coalition of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams -- indicated that the Stewart-Haas No. 41 team (with driver Kurt Busch) and the Gibbs No. 19 team (with driver Carl Edwards) were likely in the late stages of negotiations for the two available Charters.

"I think it's very likely JGR and StewartHaas will probably be acquiring those in the nottoodistant future," Kauffman said during Tuesday's presentation, where major changes to the ownership structure in stock-car racing's premier series were unveiled.

Kauffman added that the transactions would need to be completed before the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 21. According to the terms of the nine-year agreement, any transfer of Charter ownership would require approval by NASCAR.

MORE: NASCAR's 36 Charter teams

A representative for SHR said Tuesday afternoon that "Stewart-Haas Racing will have four Charters and that process is nearly complete." NASCAR granted Charters to the organization's other three teams -- No. 4 (with driver Kevin Harvick), No. 10 (Danica Patrick) and No. 14 (Tony Stewart).

A Joe Gibbs Racing representative said Tuesday afternoon that it was "just a matter of finalizing the transaction" that would bring a Charter to the No. 19 entry. The Toyota organization was issued Charters for its remaining three teams -- No. 11 (Denny Hamlin), No. 18 (defending series champion Kyle Busch) and No. 20 (Matt Kenseth).

Kauffman was co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing from October 2007 until last season, when the organization closed its doors. NASCAR granted charters to MWR's two full-time teams (No. 15 and No. 55), both of which met the performance-based eligibility qualifications to become one of the series' 36 Charter teams.

MORE: Fast facts about Charter system

Kauffman became a part-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates last summer.

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