NASCAR: 3 ways JR Motorsports can join the Cup Series

Dale Earnhardt Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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Garrett Smithley, NASCAR
Garrett Smithley, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Ways JR Motorsports can join Cup: No. 2 – Buying out a smaller team

While there are ways around the charter system that JR Motorsports can utilize to go full-time Cup Series racing, they are going to need to have a chartered entry for long-term success. NASCAR implemented the charter system in 2016 between the sport and Race Team Alliance, and it has shown to be the only effective business model for running a Cup Series team.

For JR Motorsports, they may need to start looking at smaller teams that haven’t exactly received their return on investment from years past when it comes to winning. Specific teams such as Rick Ware Racing and Live Fast Motorsports come to mind.

Rick Ware Racing downsized last season, going from four chartered cars to just two. The driver of the team’s #51 Chevrolet, Cody Ware, is also the son of team owner Rick Ware. So the #51 car may be priceless at the moment due to its sentimental value and the chance it provides for the younger Ware to keep racing in the Cup Series.

Rick Ware Racing also currently field the #15 Chevrolet as a rotational ride, something that Dale Jr. and company could elect to look into when starting their Cup Series team.

Live Fast Motorsports have been a recent beneficiary of the charter system, joining the series in 2021 with a charter that had been used by the now defunct Go Fas Racing team. While they currently serve as a backmarker in the Cup Series, they have a guaranteed spot on the track each week because of their charter.

If team driver/co-owner B.J. McLeod focuses on his Xfinity Series program and convinces co-owners Matt Tifft and Joe Falk that the future isn’t there for Live Fast Motorsports, the #78 charter could become an option as well.

It’s not the most likely scenario, considering it would involve some of the sport’s most compassionate owners capitalizing on another team’s shortcomings, but it would serve as a quick way into the Cup Series for JR Motorsports.