Alliance is a nuisance to NASCAR

NASCAR owner Brian France has a powerful staff beneath him. This group of people sets the standards for Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series owners must follow.

So a group of nine multi-car teams participating in Sprint Cup Series announced they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. The organization intends to open up its membership to all full-time Cup teams in the very near future.

In providing a vehicle for the teams to work together, the organization creates for the first time a single entity to engage with France and stakeholders on creative ways to market the sport’s teams and drivers. As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams’ operations to drive efficiencies in costs. Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.

“With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group,” said Kauffman. “The key word is ‘Collaboration.’ We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues – the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners.”

The following teams are the executive members of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.

NASCAR says, “its mission is to create a fair playing field where all can come and compete.”

“Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of the series and we’ll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will.”

NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday, “there is no animosity from the governing body and it will continue to do business the way we’ve done business.”

The nine teams make up more than half the field of cars running in a Cup race each week. Collaboratively, they have won more than 80 percent of the races each year. The sport has forgotten the little guy in racing.

Contact Eddie Thomas at ethomas@newsandsentinel.com