Monday’s Notes from the Bubble

Welcome back to my twice-weekly post about the most significant news and trends in motorsports. Usually, I am ambivalent about the weekend races; most of my interest revolves around the business decisions required for a driver, team, or sponsor to get to the track. But as I sit here with the benefit of twenty-four hours, I can say that I am still astonished by what we witnessed last evening at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. After listening to many complaints over the past few years about tracks, cars, packages, etc, we saw a universally lauded race. Watching some of the best drivers wheel their vehicles on the edge was enjoyable and a reminder of what a great product NASCAR and its teams can deliver. Over the weekend, Adam Stern dropped some news that NASCAR had communicated an offer to the Race Team Alliance, breaking an awkward silence. Adam was scant on details, but it could be the beginning of what has been a needlessly protracted dance. Based on what we saw yesterday, the future is bright, but the longer the divide between NASCAR and the Race Team Alliance continues, the farther behind both sides will be as the sport moves into its next broadcast deal. 2025 is a pivotal year; the faster both groups can agree, the better.

The NASCAR vs. Race Team Alliance Standoff: A Battle for the Future of Motorsport

Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal reports a significant shift over the weekend between NASCAR and the Race Team Alliance (RTA).

NASCAR has proposed a seven-year extension to the charter system, coinciding with its upcoming media rights agreement from 2025 through 2031. This move by NASCAR is an attempt to preserve the status quo. However, representing the teams’ interests, the RTA pushes for a more transformative change. Advocating for their charters’ “evergreen” status, the RTA seeks to ensure teams’ permanency within NASCAR, contingent upon meeting specific performance and operational criteria.

The tension between NASCAR and the RTA symbolizes a broader struggle within the sport. On the one hand, NASCAR aims to maintain its traditional governance model, while on the other hand, team owners seek security and influence. The RTA’s enlistment of antitrust attorney Jeffrey Kessler signals a readiness to challenge NASCAR’s status quo, potentially even through legal avenues.

The negotiations’ stakes are high, with implications beyond immediate financial arrangements. The outcome could significantly impact NASCAR’s structure, governance, and relationship with team owners. The sport faces a critical juncture, with calls for a more collaborative and equitable partnership model akin to those in other professional sports, where teams are partners rather than mere participants.

The backdrop to these negotiations includes developments in the motorsport ecosystem. Prominent figures like Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta are expanding into motorsports, signaling a potential shift in the sport’s culture and audience engagement strategies. The embrace of electric racing and innovative marketing approaches by entities like Thrill One Sports illustrates a broader trend of motorsports evolving to attract younger, more diverse audiences.

This moment of potential transformation for NASCAR comes when the entire entertainment landscape is shifting. Traditional engagement metrics, such as Nielsen ratings, are being reconsidered in favor of social engagement and direct fan interaction. The future of NASCAR, and indeed all of stock car racing, hinges on adapting to these changes, fostering innovation, and embracing a more inclusive and forward-thinking approach.

The broader motorsport community watches as NASCAR and the RTA negotiations unfold. The decisions will determine the Cup Series’ future and all series’ financial and operational dynamics under the NASCAR umbrella.

– TNG –

Highlights from Around the NASCAR Media Community

Green Flag To Checker: Honeycutt’s Performance

Kaden Honeycutt’s performance in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway is a testament to the unpredictable nature of racing. Despite starting in the 25th position and facing numerous challenges, Honeycutt’s sixth-place finish is remarkable, especially given the absence of practice. His ability to navigate the field and secure a top-ten finish in his first start of the season exemplifies the essence of perseverance in motorsports. For more details, visit Speedway Digest.

Night of Misfortune for Gragson at Atlanta

Noah Gragson’s experience at the Atlanta Motor Speedway is a narrative of misfortune and optimism. An early exit due to an accident may have ended his race prematurely. Still, Gragson’s forward-looking perspective and the cohesive spirit of his team underscore the resilience inherent in NASCAR drivers. Despite setbacks, the focus on rebounding in the next race is a testament to the enduring spirit of competition and teamwork. For an in-depth look at Gragson’s race, visit Speedway Digest.

An Inch Could Have Made All the Difference: Suarez squeaks by in Atlanta

Daniel Suarez’s victory in the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway by a margin of just 0.003 seconds is a thrilling example of NASCAR’s competitive edge. This razor-thin victory over Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch in a three-wide photo finish exemplifies the precision and split-second decisions that define the sport. Suarez’s win, his first on an oval track, marks a significant milestone in his career and highlights the intense competition that is a hallmark of NASCAR racing. The full story is available at Racer.

The Sebring International Raceway Witnessed a Surprise Winner

Paul Menard’s unexpected victory at Sebring International Raceway amidst chaos and competition encapsulates the unpredictable nature of racing. His triumph, against the backdrop of early exits by favorites, showcases the dynamic shifts in motorsports, proving that strategy, skill, and a bit of luck can lead to remarkable outcomes. Menard’s win is a reminder of the ever-present possibility of surprise in the racing world. For more information, read the full story at Racer.

Peeling Back the Layers: The Ad Metrics Behind the Ambetter Health 400

The Ambetter Health 400 presented a unique spectacle on the track and in the commercial breaks, with 66 companies vying for viewers’ attention through 99 commercials. Integrating traditional and side-by-side advertisements highlights the evolving landscape of sports broadcasting. Dive deeper into the ad metrics at Jayski.

Post-race inspection

The smooth conclusion of the post-race inspection after the Ambetter Health 400, confirming Daniel Suarez’s victory, underscores NASCAR’s integrity and rigorous standards. This process ensures that the competition remains fair and that victories are earned on the track. The seamless inspection process reaffirms the commitment to transparency and excellence in the sport. For more details, visit Jayski.

A Threading Victory: Suárez at the Atlanta NASCAR Cup Race

Daniel Suarez’s win at the Atlanta NASCAR Cup Race, verified by a post-race inspection, is a landmark achievement, marking him as the first foreign-born NASCAR Cup Series race winner on both an oval course and a road course. This victory cements Suarez’s place in NASCAR history and highlights the sport’s global appeal and inclusive nature. The full recap of Suarez’s victory and its significance can be found at Toby Christie.

Triumph and Turmoil: 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400

The Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway encapsulated the essence of NASCAR with its mix of triumph and turmoil. Daniel Suarez’s victory amidst intense competition and strategic races underlines the unpredictable nature of motorsports. The event highlighted not just the competitive spirit of the drivers but also the strategic nuances that contribute to a race’s outcome. The full race results and highlights can be accessed at Toby Christie.

Toast Extends

Famous Toastery and Michael McDowell have decided to extend their endorsement deal until next January, with the brand also placing its logo on McDowell’s helmet. This partnership has driven interest from potential franchisees, expanding the brand’s visibility in new markets. This collaboration underscores the mutual benefits of such endorsements in motorsports, enhancing brand awareness and engagement within and beyond the racing community. Read more about this partnership.


Many NASCAR team owners in their 70s and 80s view the current charter negotiations as a crucial opportunity to secure long-term enterprise value for their families. This perspective underscores the significance of these negotiations for the sport’s legacy and financial stability. Read about the charter negotiations in NASCAR.

Front Page News

Daniel Suarez’s recent victory, celebrated by a three-thousandths of a second win, made headlines in Mexico’s Reforma newspaper, emphasizing the precision and excitement of motorsport and its impact on national pride. See the coverage of Suarez’s win.


The CW’s agreement to air the secondary series season of NASCAR for $115 million a year from 2025 highlights the evolving broadcast landscape for motorsports, impacting existing synergies, such as that between Comcast, NBC Sports, and the NASCAR Xfinity series. Details on The CW’s broadcast agreement.

Despite the potential end of Xfinity’s series naming rights in NASCAR, Comcast is in discussions to maintain its sponsorship presence within the sport, demonstrating NASCAR’s ongoing value and appeal to corporate sponsors. Read about Comcast’s sponsorship negotiations.

From Across the Pond

In a notable trend influenced by its Formula 1 presence, Aston Martin reports that “racing green” has become the preferred color among new buyers of its road cars. This shift highlights the brand’s successful F1 involvement and impact on consumer preferences, blending motorsport heritage with consumer vehicle choice. Explore the influence of F1 on Aston Martin.

Red Bull Racing is set to bring its U.S. show-run event to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on April 20th. This event marks a significant moment for motorsports, merging the thrill of racing with the iconic backdrop of the nation’s capital, showcasing the sport’s broad appeal and accessibility. Details on Red Bull Racing’s event.

Renee Wilm, CEO of F1 Las Vegas, acknowledges feedback regarding high ticket prices, expressing a commitment to creating more accessible opportunities for fans. This reflects a strategic approach to inclusivity and fan engagement, essential for the sport’s growth and the enhancement of the fan experience. Insights from Renee Wilm on ticket pricing strategy.

Google is expanding its partnership with McLaren F1, focusing on Google Cloud’s AI technologies and increasing Google Pixel branding. This collaboration exemplifies the growing intersection between technology and motorsports, leveraging AI to advance racing strategies and fan engagement. Learn more about Google and McLaren’s partnership.

Tommy Hilfiger has joined as a sponsor of the F1 Academy, alongside Puma and Charlotte Tilbury Makeup, illustrating the broadening appeal of motorsports beyond traditional boundaries and into fashion and lifestyle brands. Tommy Hilfiger’s sponsorship announcement.

Dana White predicts the Power Slap League’s valuation will reach $1 billion soon, drawing parallels to the early days of UFC amid criticism. This comparison highlights the potential for new sports formats to achieve significant growth and market impact. Dana White’s prediction for the Power Slap League.

A couple of other items of Note

Thrill One Co., co-owned by Dana White and the Fertitta brothers, is exploring opportunities in motorsports, including helping NASCAR transition to electric vehicle racing. This initiative reflects the broader trend towards sustainability and innovation in the industry. Thrill One Co.’s motorsport ambitions.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is defending its trademarked phrase “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” against perceived infringements by Formula 1, emphasizing the importance of brand identity and the potential conflicts in the competitive landscape of motorsports. IMS’s trademark defense

The transformation of AT&T Stadium for the AMA Supercross Championship showcases the logistical marvel and the broad appeal of motorsports events, highlighting the versatility of venues and the enduring allure of racing. Supercross at AT&T Stadium.

A Few highlights from the Twix Community.

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