If Kevin Harvick bought NASCAR: What would he change?

Kevin Harvick’s ideas include NASCAR downsizing; New tracks on the schedule

NASCAR is rumored to be up for sale. It’s been reported that Goldman Sachs has been approached to seek opportunities for a sale.

The week before, NASCAR purchased the ARCA Racing Series. To me, that’s the oddest piece in the timing of this whole deal.

The most common complaint that I see of NASCAR is the 1.5 mile tracks. There’s too many of them on the schedule. However, NASCAR can’t touch them. They’re going to be here until 2020-2022. A lot of those tracks signed 10-year sanctioning agreements with NASCAR. If the sanction elected to take a race away anyway, they could do so. But, they’d also be thrown lawsuit after lawsuit.

Kevin Harvick sits on the NASCAR Drivers’ Council. He’s certainly the most active member of the council when it comes to helping the grassroots side of the program.

If you bought NASCAR what would you do?

“If I was buying it. You’re asking me what I would do? That’s a loaded question there,” Kevin Harvick excitedly responds on ‘Happy Hours’ via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

“NASCAR is a business. It’s no different than Lowe’s or Hunt Brothers Pizza. It’s somebody on the outside or the inside that wants to do something different.”

“The first things I would say is there might be a possibility for some downsizing and efficiency that could be put into place to save some overhead and really kinda refine everything. So you could hone in on certain things and make those things great.”

“The reason that I say that is… There’s an office in California. There’s an office in New York. There’s an office in Daytona. There’s an office in Charlotte. There’s an R&D Center in Charlotte. Where is the home and do we need all that? Is it necessary to have people that most of us don’t know in California and New York.”

“Maybe it is. I don’t know. Somebody might have to explain it to me.”

New tracks

“If you could have one central location to say, ‘This is where NASCAR is.’ Bringing a new owner in may draw that line clear for everybody to say now there’s some separation between NASCAR and the race tracks.”

“It might be a possibility to open the schedule up and go to some new places. Just because of the fact that you have two publicly traded companies that are trying to make a bottom line. And trying to make their investors happy with investing in the race tracks.”

There’s several pieces of NASCAR. First, we don’t know what portion might be up for sale. It’s rumored that the France family is looking to get out. The France family owns NASCAR. But, they’re also on the board of the International Speedway Corporation. That division owns multiple tracks on the schedule including Daytona International Speedway.

ISC doesn’t own NASCAR, it’s a separate deal. ISC is kinda owned by the same people but it also operates independently of NASCAR. Is ISC for sale? Is ISC and NASCAR for sale together? We really don’t know any of these things yet.

“What comes with it? How far does it go. Does it come with some of their race track ownership? It is a private ownership group that comes in and buys it then does what they did with F1? Change the way that it’s marketed and change the way that it’s structured. I think that would be a viable opportunity.”

Kevin Harvick in victory lane at Dover International Speedway
DOVER, DE – MAY 06: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway on May 6, 2018 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
NASCAR francises

“Is it somebody that comes in a structures it like an actual league? Where everybody’s sharing in the TV revenue, more evenly. To help the teams get where they need to be from a TV revenue standpoint so they’re not so dependent on sponsors. So these teams owners can have real franchises that are worth value that other people want to come in to buy.”

Denny Hamlin made similar comments back in 2017. He caught nothing but slack for those comments but he couldn’t have been more correct.

NASCAR is in year 4 of a 10 year TV deal. TV revenue generates an average of $800 million+ a year for the sport.

Currently, that money is collected and re-distributed through the industry based on a percentage basis. 65% of TV revenue gets handed to the tracks, 25% to the teams and NASCAR holds onto the remaining 10%.

Meanwhile, teams like Hendrick Motorsports are needing to sign 5-year $60-million dollar sponsorship deals just to keep the cars on the track. They don’t get enough of the TV money so we see teams that depend on sponsorship just to make the field.

A larger piece of the TV money would create greater stability for the teams. That would be a great thing. Especially when NASCAR reduced the starting field from 43 to 40 and yet they still start under 40 at a lot of these events. There just isn’t enough viable teams out there to even fill the 40 car fields.

“There’s some real opportunities that you could talk about. I don’t have enough money to even think about buying it. It’s kinda out of my league.”

Dale Jr?

How about Dale Earnhardt Jr? Would he have interest in buying a portion of NASCAR?

Between 1999-2015, Dale Jr brought in $95,680,982 in race earnings. That of course doesn’t count his portion of the sponsorship revenue or the merchandise sales. Each of which might be higher than the race earnings total.


Related: NASCAR is exploring a sale (May)

Related: Is NASCAR for sale? (February)

Related: Denny Hamlin wants to see NASCAR TV money redistributed

Related: ARCA wants to be on a bigger boat as they build their program

Related: 2017 ISC financial report

Related: NASCAR attendance down; Race track revenue numbers

Related: NASCAR attendance down; 18-24 viewership up (2017)

Related: “We’ve had a great year.” -Brian France

Related: Humpy Wheeler discusses the idea of NASCAR on the stock exchange

Related: NASCAR hints at title sponsor tiers for 2020

Related: Monster Energy renews entitlement sponsorship with NASCAR for 2019


Kevin Harvick | Sirius XM | ISC | NASCAR