Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Small Teams and Charters, Part 1

I had to take a day to cool off.  There is absoeffnlutely no way I could have written a nice response to a derogatory tweet in reference to small nascar teams yesterday.  It would have resulted in an inordinate amount of cursing and some very disparaging name calling.

Let’s be honest, Rob Kauffman (per my conservative estimated net worth time the market return of 6%) makes more money in one month than I will make in my lifetime.  That makes him loaded in Ron White terms folks.

Small teams are NASCAR.  Hell, even Rick Hendrick started small.  I’m old enough to remember Richard Childress as a driver.  Gibbs didn’t come into the sport with four cars and neither did Roush.  So to make a statement that small teams don’t belong at the Cup level is idiocy at best.  At worst, that statement has pissed at lotta folks with a background of working and supporting small teams.
The one time I was a car owner, South Boston

I’d recommend hitting twitter and reading Tommy Joe Martins and Brian Keselowski time lines.  They both share a small team driver and owner perspectives much better than I could.  However, since a small team is where I started and what currently pays my bills, I felt like a responses was more than warranted.

I didn’t like the Charters when they first came out.  Today, I’m still not sure that I like them.  I certainly don’t see where the charter system has created value in relation to the value of a national franchised team, ie NFL, NHL, NBA etc.

My first annoyance with the charters was leaving out the Wood Brothers.  That just got right under my craw and burrowed in deep.  Hit the beep beep button.  What was the RTA and Kauffman thinking?  The freaking Wood Brothers are NASCAR, its history and its future.  That was a deep, deep pile of doo doo and instantly sent my little financial radar to tingling. 

Have the charters protected investments and done what the RTA intended for them to do?  I don’t think so.  Now I don’t have access to the balance sheet of most race teams.  But being a (beep beep) accountant and pretty good with assets, I can tell ya that the big teams aren’t hurting.  If they are making like a BMW (more beep beep, you figure it out) about costs, then hire some better bean counters.

I once told an ARCA team you can poor mouth all you want.  I don’t need to see your deposits to know what you are spending.  Same goes with NASCAR.  Pissing and moaning about travel costs when the Concord airport looks like a G3 dealership.  

I kept digging, wondering why the leadership of the RTA would tweet something so ludicrous.  I looked into as much as his financial past as I could.  Prior to the economic turmoil that kicked a lot of small teams in the gonads, Kauffman was worth over 1.7 B.  I’m sure he lost a good bit of that, because its paper money.

His background is in hedge fund management. I’m not saying how that money was made, but I’d take a long look into the history of hedge funds and the market meltdown associated with the mortgage mess. Considering his financial associations with investments firms, it would appear to the financial novice that perhaps Kauffman intends to make a bid for NASCAR. 

Lastly some points to consider

Hendrick started with two cars, a borrowed motor and nearly shut down its 1st year.

Kauffman owned a team that cheated (work the gray areas, but don’t be stupid) and lost a major sponsor.

The Big Four (Hendricks, Childress, Gibbs and Roush) aren’t hurting or they’d restructure their expenditures.

Does the Charter system exclude more than it protects?

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