Tommy Baldwin Racing sells charter to Leavine Family Racing
Tommy Baldwin Racing won’t field a full-time team in 2017, and its long-term future is in doubt.
Tommy Baldwin Racing has sold its NASCAR Sprint Cup charter and will cease operating as a full-time team following the conclusion on the 2016 season, owner Tommy Baldwin announced in a Facebook post on Thursday
TBR sold its charter to Leavine Family Racing for an undisclosed sum. LRT is now guaranteed entry into all 36 race next season and beyond. Michael McDowell is the primary driver of LRT’s No. 95 car, sharing duties with Ty Dillon.
What TBR’s future holds is uncertain, Baldwin wrote in the Facebook post. The team has run a full schedule for the past eight years, but a lack of funding and limited sponsorship made it difficult to continue under its current business model. Regan Smith drove for the TBR No. 7 car this season, recording two top-10 finishes.
The 2016 season concludes Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“For the past eight years we’ve shown up at every race, worked hard to compete at the top level and bring value to our sponsors,” Baldwin said. “I feel confident that we are moving on having accomplished that. There have been many teams like ours that have come and gone. I’m proud that we have been able to sustain ourselves from the very beginning.
“We are going to work hard to get the best possible results in Miami, take a little family time and then figure out the rest. So, stay tuned — announcements will be forthcoming.”
Charters are essentially NASCAR’s version of franchises, guaranteeing owners some modicum of financial stability from year-to-year. The charter system was instituted prior to the 2016 season, a departure from NASCAR’s longstanding practice of teams not receiving any financial assurances from the sanctioning body.
“Leavine Family Racing is committed to continued growth on and off the race track,” owner Bob Leavine said in a statement. “The charter is a meaningful step forward for our team and provides us further stability as we look towards success in 2017 and beyond. We are confident that the purchase of the charter and continued improvement on the track will lead to increased revenue opportunities.”