For nearly 75 years, NASCAR has ruled motorsports in America. From humble beginnings, the sport now generates billions through ticket sales, media rights, and other revved-up revenue streams that have powered the top teams to valuations exceeding $100 million. With new innovations on the horizon and the most loyal fans in sports, it is no wonder that NASCAR is attracting attention from a brand-new kind of owner. As NASCAR prepares to launch its Next Gen vehicle, the next generation of team owners is powering NASCAR into the next decade.
Matt Kaulig, owner of Kaulig Racing, is part of this new model for NASCAR. The Ohio-born entrepreneur founded LeafFilter Gutter Protection from his basement in 2005, and was one of the first people to take advantage of NASCAR’s new rules around team ownership. Introduced in 2016, the sport’s franchise charter system enabled ambitious investors to get in the driver’s seat and compete with the old guard for the checkered flags. And compete they have: Team Kaulig has raced to 15 wins—one in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and 14 on the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) circuit. In 2022, the team plans to race three full-time entries in the NXS and two full-time entries in the NCS.
Already one of the most successful new race teams in recent NASCAR history, Kaulig Racing’s portfolio is poised for even greater heights. When the charter system was first introduced over five years ago, NASCAR team charters sold for $6 million—today, they have more than doubled in value, leading to a surge in investor interest that has the biggest names in business and sports clamoring for a spot on the starting line. For a passionate sports fan like Matt Kaulig, the ability to compete on the track and introduce his LeafFilter brand to millions of race fans each week made the initial investment an easy decision—and made buying an additional charter in 2021 a no-brainer.
Across all sports, franchise sales and values have exploded, leading to a mad scramble for savvy investors trying to secure pole position in motorsports. NASCAR has made several strategic decisions designed to increase revenue and value for potential new owners. While they still dominate the sports scene in the South, NASCAR is expanding aggressively into new regions like the Northeast and West, running races at new and innovative tracks and venues—like the recent “Clash at the Coliseum” in Downtown Los Angeles— and increasing their footprint in North America and abroad. The sport is making a concerted effort to support more diversity at every level, from the fanbase to the drivers and up to the owner’s boxes.
Ultimately, the true power of NASCAR is the product: motorsports is more popular than ever, and for millions of kids who grow up with dreams of driving in the Daytona 500, nothing beats a day at the race track.
As the sport introduces its brand-new Next Gen vehicle for 2022—with Team Kaulig putting up-and-coming driver Justin Haley in the driver’s seat for the NASCAR Cup Series and in their second car a rotation of drivers varying from veteran AJ Allmendinger, to current NXS Champion Daniel Hemric to NASCAR’s “Mr. Personality” Noah Gragson —it is little wonder that next generation owners like Matt Kaulig are driving the future of NASCAR.