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Jimmie Johnson: Cup owners remain ‘unified’ in seeking new financial plan with NASCAR

The 2025 Cup season is about 10 months away and no agreement has been reached on extending the charter system, but Jimmie Johnson says that team owners remain a “unified group.”

NASCAR’s charter agreement — instituted in 2016 and guaranteeing teams certain financial payments — expires after this season. Teams seek to make charters permanent.

Texas Motor Speedway’s race moved to the spring for the 2024 season.

Teams also seek additional revenue with a new media rights deal beginning next season. Under the current model, tracks get 65% of the media rights money, teams get 25% and NASCAR receives 10%.

Cup team executives said in October 2022 that the current economic model was “broken.” Jeff Gordon, vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports and a member of the negotiating committee for team owners, talked in February about “frustrations” with not having a deal done although he remained optimistic it would happen.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps told NBC Sports in March that “we’ve got some things to close the gap. The gap is not a chasm. It’s just a gap. I think there are some things that both sides would like to see as part what an extension would look like.”

The Cup Series races Sunday afternoon at the 1.5-mile speedway.

Johnson, co-owner of Legacy Motor Club, met with the media Saturday morning at Texas Motor Speedway and was asked about where things stood between team owners and NASCAR.

“I think it’s going to come down to deep in the year … Right now it’s still posturing,” Johnson said. “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.”

Asked if the main issue is money or something else, Johnson said: “To steal a Mr. (Rick) Hendrick line, ‘It’s not about the money until it’s about the money.’ Ultimately, there are protections, I think, that team owners are looking for for longevity that absolutely shore things up for them financially.

“Sure, there are discussions around monies that come on the front side through the TV partnership that are important. You know, it’s been interesting to watch. This is my first time really in this world as a team owner, and I’ve done a lot more listening than I have talking and letting the pros really … do their job.

“But what’s ultimately been most impressive to me is just how the team ownership group has stuck together. I think we’re a lot stronger as a unified group, hearing a consistent message. That’s something that’s been more difficult for owners in the past, but the ownership group has been very committed to that and I think that’s been very useful.”