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BK Racing charter standing: ‘what a mess’

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 10: Gray Gaulding, driver of the #23 Toyota, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 10, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The financial issues for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team, BK Racing, that includes the team filing for bankruptcy and its financial control being stripped from owner Ron Devine and handed over to a trustee, raise all kinds of questions surrounding the team’s charter. This whole charter thing is confusing enough to follow with teams selling or leasing charters, only to buy or lease other charters from other teams to keep those charters in good standing. Frankly, I’ve lost track of who is using whose charters these days. On top of that, BK Racing’s woes definitely throw a different kind of proverbial monkey wrench into the mix, one I’m guessing NASCAR didn’t consider when it designed this charter system.

Okay, BK Racing has a charter, but given the team’s shaky financial standings, can we be sure the team’s No. 23 Toyota entry will be showing up at the track each Cup Series race weekend? I sure wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t, since, reportedly, Gray Gaulding is driving the car for free and at least some BK employees aren’t being paid. And if the team misses a couple of consecutive races, NASCAR’s going to be revoking that charter.

What then?

Union Bank & Trust has laid claim to not only that charter, but a second charter BK Racing used to have but sold to Front Row Motorsports. According to the bank, BK Racing didn’t have a right to sell that charter, because it was used as collateral for a loan. If the bank ends up with the charter BK Racing still has, will it also end up with one of Front Row’s charters?

What if NASCAR revokes the charter BK Racing has right now? Does the sanctioning body, then, sell that charter or award it to the best unchartered team? If that charter is rewarded to the best among the unchartered teams in the same way the other 35 existing charters were handed out when this system began, is that fair to teams that have coughed-up funds to buy or lease charters in the last couple of years?

Then, what about the bank?

Will NASCAR be required to turn this charter over to the bank that is claiming it? I think the original idea of the charter system was to award these charters to race teams, not to outside businesses that, more than likely, have no desire to go racing. Sure, the bank would turn around and sell its charter, but did NASCAR ever foresee outside businesses getting their hands on charters to sell? I’m guessing no.

Then, what about that charter that was sold to Front Row Motorsports? FRM could really end up screwed, here. If US Bank & Trust ends up with that charter, I’m guessing FRM won’t be reimbursed what it paid for said charter. I guess Front Row could sue Devine through BK Racing to recoup those funds, but as the old saying goes, “You can’t get blood from a turnip.”

Union Bank & Trust could, very well, end up with two charters. Or, maybe, NASCAR could revoke the one still with BK Racing and the bank go after the one sold to FRM.

The possible head-scratching scenarios remind me of a Bristol Motor Speedway television commercial from several years ago. In the words of the retaining wall painter from that commercial, “What a mess.”

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Posted by on April 3, 2018. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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