NASCAR looking to contain team costs
April 10, 2004
11:47 AM EDT (1547 GMT)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- NASCAR officials are looking hard at harnessing the ever-increasing cost of racing, particularly in its top series.
To help in cutting costs the right way, new NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France would like to see NASCAR hire more people with hands-on experience at the team level.
"One thing that Brian has brought to the table is strategy," said Jim Hunter, vice president of communications. "He's asking questions like: 'Who do we have at NASCAR who has actually run a team or worked on a car?'
"We are looking at bringing in more people to get ahead of the curve on the cost side so that we can work hand-in-glove with the owners and the teams to try to figure out what we really need to do from a cost standpoint, so we don't save them here and then they just spend it over there."
Recent competitive changes, including new aerodynamic rules and softer tires, have raised actual costs to the teams by more than $1 million because they had to cut up and rebuild their cars during the offseason and are using more tires at just about every race.
Team owner Richard Childress, who fields cars in each of NASCAR's top three series and employs 280 people, said costs are getting out of hand.
"It's just tougher and tougher today to make it, even with a sponsorship," Childress said. "You just got to do everything you can to get enough revenue to be competitive today."
One change that could save the owners substantial money would be limiting testing even more.
"The test policy is something that we're looking at because so many of the owners have told us how much money they spend on tests," Hunter said. "We can police testing at the NASCAR facilities, but how do we police it at non-NASCAR facilities?
"We're very interested in what the IRL is doing this year with their no-test policy. They have just so many open testing days, and we're looking at that, which is smart."
The current test policy in NASCAR gives each team five two-day tests and four one-day tests for a total of 14 days. Teams with rookie drivers get seven two-day tests and five one-day tests.
There are no limits on testing at tracks where NASCAR does not race.