DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Saturday afternoon brought confirmation of the first sales of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series charters under the new ownership model announced on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.
“Charter for the No. 41 car (driven by Kurt Busch) has been secured,” Stewart-Haas Racing asserted on its Twitter account during Daytona 500 practice on Saturday afternoon. “SHR officially has 4 charters. #NASCAR”
Joe Gibbs Racing made a similar proclamation a few minutes later. “It’s official!” JGR tweeted. “Today JGR secured a 4th charter to be used for the No. 19 team (with driver Carl Edwards).”
Stewart-Haas and Gibbs obtained their charters from Rob Kauffman, who earned two charters as a principal with Michael Waltrip Racing, which ceased operations at the end of the 2015 season.
In discussing the possible purchase of a charter on Friday at Daytona, Stewart-Haas Racing president Brett Frood deflected the question with a joke.
“As far as what we paid for it, Rob’s a fairly reasonable guy—well-traveled—enjoys cars, fine dining. We ended up coming to an agreement. We’re going to give him a lifetime supply of Mobil 1 (motor oil) for his cars, and we’re going to deliver Jimmy John’s and Busch beer for the next two years. Good deal!”
On Friday, the day before the official confirmation of the sale of Kauffman’s charters, HScott Motorsports announced it had acquired a charter on a short-term lease basis from Premium Motorsports, owned by Jay Robinson.
Team owner Harry Scott said the charter will be used with the No. 46 Chevrolet driven by Michael Annett. Scott already had earned a charter for the No. 15 Chevy, to be driven this year by Clint Bowyer, who will move to Stewart-Haas in 2017.