As the 2022 NASCAR season has begun, NASCAR President Steve Phelps addressed a couple of issues in a 40-minute session.
Phelps is of the opinion that NASCAR will see more practice and qualifying only next year as the sports are still overcoming the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially with the Next Gen series set to make their debut next season, teams will need more time on the track to get along with the new series.
Phelps also addressed the issue of the availability of races only on streaming services in the future. He said:
“Do I envision a time when NASCAR Cup Series races are being streamed and that’s the only place you can get them? I would say right now, that’s not something that’s on our radar. I think that making sure there is a place where people can watch over the air – broadcast – is important to us. It’s important to our teams and our sponsors.”
Another issue that the president addressed is to make sure that the charter teams are as competitive as possible. NASCAR possesses the right to remove a team’s charter if they finish in the bottom three in car owner points for three consecutive years with the same charter.
Also, recent years have seen new owners entering the sports. Speaking about the charter, Phelps said:
“Whether there is a change to the bottom three rule moving forward, I think that you all have seen some maneuvering that has gone on with respect to the bottom three rule, the ability to have someone lease a charter. It’s not perfect.
“I think the intention of the bottom three rule and leasing – they were not supposed to be tied. I think it’s an unintended consequence to something that we thought was in the right interest.
“The reason why we had leasing in the first place was if a team that’s been involved for a long time lost a major sponsor, they’d be able to lease that charter for a year, then have it back when they were able to get the sponsor, a new sponsor on that race car. Don’t want to belabor that point.
“There are things we are looking at (and) are doing that will ensure that people are competing. They have to compete. They need to be competitive on the racetrack.”