New Team Purchases Furniture Row Racing’s NASCAR Charter for Record Amount
Sports management company Spire Sports and Entertainment enters NASCAR competition.
A new NASCAR Cup Series team, formed by Spire Sports an Entertainment founders Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyer, has purchased the charter that was formerly held by the now-defunct Furniture Row Racing. FRR, which fielded the No. 78 Toyota of driver Martin Truex Jr., shut down upon the conclusion of the 2018 season.
“We think this is the perfect time to buy in,” Dickerson told NBC Sports. “Our guys sit in boardrooms and tell people how much they believe in the sport. We believe in this sport. We believe in the leadership.”
Spire Sports and Entertainment manages the careers of several NASCAR drivers, including Cup Series pro Kyle Larson. The company also works with several NASCAR teams such as Hendrick Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing.
The new race team will run a No. 77 Chevrolet. Driver and sponsor announcements are forthcoming.
A charter guarantees a team starting positions in all points-paying Cup Series. Thirty-six such charters exist for guaranteed spots on starting grids for up to 40 cars. Results of race teams attached to a given charter over the course of three races affect the percentage of race purses a charter holder earns.
The asset purchased from Furniture Row Racing is the most valuable charter to change hands since the implementation of NASCAR’s charter system in 2016, as the No. 78 team won the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series championship and finished second in 2018 before closing shop. According to an NBC Sports report, the price paid by the new race team was the highest amount for any one charter. NASCAR doesn’t reveal the price of charters, but a $2.08 million price tag on a BK Racing charter purchased by Front Row Motorsports earlier this year was made public as a result of its sale through a bankruptcy court-mandated auction.