Kauffman and Keselowski discuss the recently drafted plans for NASCAR spending cap
Sponsorship in NASCAR is down. At the same time, the costs are not. Therein lies a huge problem.
At the same time, a select number of teams are able to secure the massive marketing dollars that it takes to fund a NASCAR racing team. But, that only further creates separation from the front to the back in terms of lap times.
Earlier this year, NASCAR minimum speeds were on the discussion board. Those still might change ahead of the 2018 season. But, why is there such a huge gap between the big and small teams? Well, millions of dollars in differentiating budgets would certainly be the reasonable cause.
A new plan for a NASCAR budget cap has been introduced. One of the goals of said budget is to help teams better manage a practical budget. The other is to, of course, help level the playing field.
“For any professional sport to be viable long term, it needs to be a reasonable business to the team owner,” Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner and Race Team Alliance chairman Rob Kauffman told SB Nation. “You look at football, baseball, English football, Formula One, and there are a variety of models and ways — some more successful than others — to make that happen. NASCAR is no different.
“Part of trying to have a reasonable business, revenues and costs have to balance. In general, revenues within [NASCAR] are not going up and like in any business, you have to address your costs,” Kauffman added.
The NASCAR spending cap idea was first introduced last year. Andrew Murstein was the first to opening discuss the idea.
“Every single league has a cap now these days, it creates a level playing field,” Andrew Murstein told NBC Sports back in August.
However, not everyone is in favor of a NASCAR spending cap. Brad Keselowski is the former owner of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series operation. Following the 2017 season, he’s shut down that operation.
“I have heard a lot of talk about it, but I’m not a big believer in it,” Brad Keselowski told SB Nation. “All it does is make a bunch of accountants rich and probably not make much of a difference with the racing. You can’t manage it, you can’t police it without spending a fortune on accounting. I don’t think that’s the right answer.”
Like anything, the opinions vary on the subject. Kauffman believes that change is needed. But, he doesn’t believe a cap can be applied in the same way that other major league sporting sanctions like the NFL for MLB have activated it.
“It’s much more complex in racing,” Kauffman said. “In stick-and-ball sports, most of your costs are players. Here, players are important but there is also a lot of stuff — cars, haulers, manufacturers involved in various levels of support. There are a lot of moving pieces; a lot of unique things in motor racing that make it a little harder.
“But, it’s certainly worth talking about and trying to get a handle on.”