Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing left NASCAR entirely.
Phelps said unsettled team sponsorship situations aren't unusual.
"The teams are so dependent on sponsor support," Phelps said. "That revenue stream is so important to the teams. But that's the way it's been in NASCAR for 65 years. That part's not different."
What is different today, Phelps said, is the model teams are using to bankroll their racing budgets.
In the past, a team would try to nail down one company to pay an eight-figure annual fee to become the team's primary sponsor. But there aren't enough companies willing to do that anymore — so instead, teams are trying to tie together enough smaller sponsorships to fund their teams.
Most teams are doing OK. A few aren't.
"There are realities," Phelps said. "It's expensive to run a team, so if you need to have six sponsors to make that thing work, you're going to have six sponsors. But because of that, you have downward pressure on the other teams, 'Hey, listen, I only have three sponsors, I have six races remaining, how am I going to fill the six races?' That's why it makes it difficult, and that's why I think there's so much focus on it right now."
But Phelps believes the teams will get it figured out. And he's confident that young stars like Bayne and Stenhouse have full-time rides in their foreseeable futures.
"Whenever you have two up and coming drivers, young drivers, who don't have full time support, yeah, it's concerning," Phelps said. "It'll get figured out. Trevor and Ricky are going to be in good shape. They are going to be drivers well into the future."
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