Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - A group of nine multi-car teams competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series announced on Monday they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance.
Those teams currently included in the RTA are: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.
According to a news release from the RTA, "the purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing."
The RTA said it intends to open up its membership to all full-time teams in NASCAR's premier series in the near future.
Furthermore, the RTA noted it "plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams' operations to drive efficiencies in costs."
Rob Kauffman, the co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected chairman of the RTA.
"With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest," Kauffman said in a statement. "This simply formalizes what was an informal group. The key word is 'collaboration.' We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing.
"By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues - the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently and deliver more value to our partners."
NASCAR issued a statement in response to the RTA.
"We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose," NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer Brett Jewkes said in the statement. "It is apparently still in development, and we're still learning about the details, so it would be inappropriate to comment right now.
"NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series, and we'll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will."