NASCAR's nine most powerful teams have formed the Race Team Alliance, a business association intended to increase revenues and budget efficiency for Sprint Cup organizations.
The RTA is comprised of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske. It intends to open its membership to all teams in NASCAR's premier series.
A release said the organization "creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of 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, the co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the RTA's chairman.
"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," Kauffman said in a release. "This simply formalizes what was an informal group. 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."
In a statement, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer Brett Jewkes said: "We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we're still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our 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 will begin new 10-year TV deals next year with Fox and NBC that run through 2025 and are worth more than $8 billion. Under the current structure, NASCAR teams receive roughly 25% of the revenue from TV, with 65% to tracks and 10% to NASCAR.
In a state-of-the-sport address last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, chairman Brian France said NASCAR was "rethinking that a little bit. … That'll be something that we will consider and we will look at to make sure that the appropriate values are where they need to be."