NASCAR team owners growing frustrated over revenue talks

NASCAR's revenue sharing system has created a stalemate between teams and the sport in regard to revenue negotiations, and some owners are speaking out.
Denny Hamlin, NASCAR
Denny Hamlin, NASCAR / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

NASCAR's revenue system has been the subject of controversy in the past, but this year may provide even more drama than usual. Teams have boycotted meetings in the past due to their frustrations, but now owners are voicing their concerns publicly.

The sport has stood on its word that teams receive 35% to 40% of industry-wide generated revenue, and new tracks and merchandising opportunities have popped up in recent years. Along with a deep pipeline of young talent, new tracks, and international racing stars joining the sport full-time, the future looks bright for NASCAR.

But despite these positive developments, various team owners have shown mixed opinions about the charter and revenue system, specifically in regard to what they feel they are dishing out vs. what they are receiving in return.

23XI Racing co-owner and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has been one of the most vocal among those on the frustrated site.

Hamlin recently aired his grievances against Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), stating that he would guarantee that "23XI has invested more in this sport than SMI has invested in the last 10 years". Hamlin added that SMI tracks take a bulk of the revenue from the TV money when NASCAR races on their tracks.

Legacy Motor Club co-owner and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Jimmie Johnson was asked about the charter agreement.

"I know we feel like the clock is ticking, but if you look at how much time is left, we’re just getting into the eighth inning, maybe ninth inning of what really needs to happen in negotiations for all parties."

Jimmie Johnson

While Johnson had a more positive spin on the situation than Hamlin, he shared that the clock is indeed ticking, and the ninth inning is certainly far closer to the final strike than the opening pitch.

Possible charter sales, looming network changes spell a heavy unknown future for NASCAR and its revenue

It has been widely reported that Stewart-Haas Racing may put one or even two of their four charters for sale before the 2025 season. Both co-owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have other business ventures in motorsports, and the downsizing of their Cup Series team would not exactly be the best vote of confidence.

Add in the broadcast changes for 2025, one of which the Xfinity Series recently expedited. With TV money being another significant chunk of the sport's revenue, that decision brings more questions than answers. Streaming and other non-television mediums may be a go-to resource for many, but a quick move by NASCAR has raised some eyebrows.

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The sky isn't falling, and it's hard to think that one of the biggest auto racing series is going away anytime soon. But multiple owners have not shied away from airing their doubts and concerns, and some are even considering scaling back their teams. In a sport where money talks, the silence from the top is starting to become deafening.