The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the track this weekend with the annual Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.

And with the unofficial start to the Cup Series, Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing owner-driver Brad Keselowski doesn’t appear to be overly concerned about the teams’ expired negotiations with NASCAR, which is wholly owned by the France family.

“Don’t worry about this,” Keselowski said, per FOX Sports NASCAR video. “We’re gonna figure this out.”

The teams are negotiating for more money to improve their business model, which is currently reliant on sponsorships. The original charter deal, in place through 2024, has moved the motor racing sport closer to being a league in its operations, even though NASCAR runs under an independent contractor model.

Story continues below advertisement

“I would be a fool to not be somewhat concerned,” Keselowski said. “But, the reality is we’re in January of ’24, and this deal doesn’t need to get done until February 2025. Everybody would like for it to be done, but it really doesn’t need to be done earlier than that.”

The negotiation period on the current charter expired at the end of 2023, with the two sides agreeing on a one-month extension through the end of January, according to Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“However, as the calendar turns to February, sources say that teams unanimously agreed to not extend their agreement with NASCAR a further month,” Stern wrote. “A symbolic move that appears designed to highlight their unhappiness with the state of the talks.”

Stern added: “NASCAR technically does not need a deal with a majority or unanimous number of teams for there to be a new charter agreement, but teams are currently sticking together, and NASCAR, for the moment, is negotiating with the teams’ self-appointed Team Negotiating Committee.”

Story continues below advertisement

The team negotiating committee consists of RFK Racing president Steve Newmark, Hendrick Motor Sports vice chair Jeff Gordon, Joe Gibbs Racing president Dave Alpern and 23XI Racing investor Chris Polk.

“At the end of the day, I’m confident we’re gonna show up at Daytona (in 2025), and race,” Keselowski said. “I know I’ll be there. We might be racing wheelbarrows, we’re gonna be racing, and it’s gonna be a great race.”

Keselowski added that while the teams have budgets they work under, the biggest thing for a team owner is taking care of the employees, attracting partners and justifying bigger investments.

Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images