The NASCAR team owners aren’t in favor of a spending cap; They are in favor of common parts
The NASCAR expense sheets aren’t getting any smaller. It takes a massive operation to develop multiple forms of the same car for various styles of race tracks across the country.
A spending cap has been used in other forms of professional sports to control the costs of the big sports business. Such a thing hasn’t been introduced to NASCAR. It has been talked about for the last several years.
But, most of the team owners aren’t interested in the idea. Given their the ones writing the checks, we should probably listen to them.
“I don’t think that a cap is necessarily — you’ll spend more time trying to manage it and regulate it,” stated NASCAR team owner Roger Penske.
“I think there’s common parts across the car which can be supplied by a manufacture or multiple manufactures. Which could take some costs out.”
One of his driver’s, Brad Keselowski is in a prime position to help in this aspect. Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing is a company formed after he closed down his truck series team. The company will produce products using highly advanced forms of 3D printing. (You can 3D print far more than just plastic in 2019.
“That’s something that NASCAR’s looking at. And the OEM’s are.”
“We don’t need to escalate it. We need to have it be reasonable. But, there’s a lot of things we can do, if you want to. To me, those are things we need to look at as an industry.”
“There’s always going to be costs. And with the technology that runs through the garage area… We could have a set of rules. It won’t take long before people have an idea on how to make it better. That’s really all we want to be able to do.”
“The fewer systems in the car that we compete on from an engineering and development point of view, the lower the costs will be,” Jack Roush said of the same topic.
Currently, teams develop their own parts and pieces as a way of outperforming the competition. That becomes expensive in a hurry. Roush is also looking for common parts to be used across the industry.
“We went through a bunch of changes in the front snout last year. The relative stiffness and the relative weakness in the chassis became something that we had to do development on.”
“That required more engineers and more application of fabricator time. Things to try and make sure that you weren’t missing something that Tony [Stewart] or Roger [Penkse] had found.”
“The fewer of those things the lower the costs will be.”
NASCAR has a new race car in the pipeline. The Gen-7 race car is set for debut in the 2021 racing season.
Such a car offers an opportunity for change. There’s a short window for the car to be developed. Still, most are unsure how what the car will be. There’s even rumors of an independent rear suspension.
The Gen-7 car opens the door to introduce the common parts idea of Roger Penske and Jack Rouch.
“I think with Gen-7, it’s not clear. NASCAR is having discussions with the teams. But, if we’re able to compete in the margins and have fewer things that we do blank page engineering on then the lower our costs will be,” Roush concluded.
Roger Penske added: “We’re really talking about Gen-7 for NASCAR. It’s not just the car. It’s the show, the length of the races, where we’re gonna run, are we going to run at night? and are we gonna run more short tracks?”