NASCAR used to be a sport where it seemed as though all teams were equal, no matter if you were a single car team, or a team with two or three cars. Yes, the teams with two or three cars had a slight advantage because they could share notes on the technical sides of the cars.
However, like everything else, times have changed to the point where single car teams are having a harder and harder time competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for wins and championships. It is just not evident from what a fan sees, but the drivers see and realize this as well. David Ragan, driving for Michael Waltrip Racing described the current state of the sport perfectly
“I don’t think any team can survive as a single-car operation today. You can’t consider Furniture Row a single-car operation. That just isn’t real. Wood Brothers Racing isn’t a single-car operation. Any single-car team they have some affiliation. You can certainly be a single-car team and hang in there in this sport and just maintain mediocrity. If you’re going to be a winner or going to be a Chase contending team you’re going to have to have some affiliating with a larger team, you’ve got to have some manufacturer support and you’ve got to have an owner that’s going to bankroll $20 to $30 million a year in order to go race.
Do not think Ragan is the only one expressing his thoughts on a team operating as a single car operation either. The driver who is the hottest in the sport has expressed his frustration around being a car owner who believes it is simple to compete as a single car operation
“There is no easy thing about being a car owner. Nothing where you can say, ‘Oh, this is going to be simple, we can do that.’ If anybody thinks that way, you’re going to run 20th.”
So the question becomes, what does it take to start and become a powerhouse team with multiple cars? That is an easy one – sponsors who are willing to put up a lot of money to support the teams, which essentially means funding. Funding translates to being able to do continual research to make your team better on the track and the ability to share notes between teams.
Now you ask, will a single car team ever be able to compete on the same level as the powerhouse teams and win a championship? Never say never, but you can say ‘highly unlikely’.
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