We could see a new auto manufacture on the NASCAR grid in 2023
Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota remain the only three manufactures in the sport of NASCAR. In comparison to sports like F1 or IMSA, three is a number that could be significantly improved.
Manufactures pump lots of money into the sport. These manufactures support their race teams financially and also help on the technology side.
Each make helps their teams in different ways from a technical standpoint. However, all of them, have bad-ass wind tunnels and up-to-date racing simulators for their teams to use.
A big hurdle for the NASCAR Cup Series has been the V8 engine. You won’t find many V8’s on a dealer lot. Most auto manufactures don’t make these anymore thus it’s hard for them to justify making one specifically for Cup competition.
Aside from that, chassis development was another massive mountain to climb. However, in 2022, NASCAR will release the Next Gen car and knock down that mountain. The new car will be a spec chassis, regardless of manufacture. The days of chassis development, will be all but gone.
With the new car, it’s significantly easier for a new manufacture to join the sport.
For several years, NASCAR has been in discussion with auto manufactures about joining NASCAR. In 2020, those talks were paused. However, those discusses are soon to continue.
NASCAR on new manufactures
“The difficulty for us, obviously we were super focused on getting the races in. We haven’t had a ton of conversations with other [new] OEM’s during this COVID situation,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps stated.
“They’ve kind of had their own issues. You know, with supply chains and making sure they’re getting vehicles out.”
“When the season ends, we’ll start to restart those conversations,” Phelps stated during the final weekend in Phoenix. “There’s only a certain number of hours in a day. And those have taken a bit of a pause.”
“I think we are actually a more attractive sport today, to a new OEM than we were back in March. I believe that to be true. It’s not that we were not an attractive sport for them to make investments. But, I think now, more than ever.”
NASCAR charters for new OEMs
Years ago, NASCAR issues a select number of charters in the wild. These charters basically guarantee a starting spot in every NASCAR Cup Series race.
As several new teams have spawned, the charters themselves have become more valuable. That doesn’t mean that a new team, with a new OEM, would get taken to the cleaners when attempting to purchase one.
If a new manufacture comes into the sport, NASCAR has an option to release new charters to help that OEM get going.
“We have the opportunity to do that. Someone coming in, wouldn’t come in until 2023, at the earliest.”
“I just think the world’s going to look a lot different in NASCAR once you get to the Next Gen car. The dynamics are going to change so significantly.”
“If we deem that it would be in the best interest of this sport to add an additional charter or two, to try to help jump start a new OEM, it’s something we’d consider.”
The charter system
“One of the thoughts about the charter system, and this really gets to the business of NASCAR. Fans, they don’t care about charters.”
“But, one of the thoughts, on the business side of charters, was that if someone decided to leave the sport, that they would have enterprise value, that they would be able to sell.”
“That is something that is happening, in this system. It’s not the only reason why the charter system exists.”
“There are things about the charter system that work quite well. There are others that I think we could probably improve on, moving forward.”
“It’s not something we’re faced with at this particular time. The charters go through 2024. There are things we would look to change, moving forward.”