In 2016 NASCAR initiated the charter where car owners could guarantee a starting spot in every race of the season.  While NASCAR allows for 40 cars in the field; but there are only 36 charters available.  Any remaining team must earn their starting spot in order to qualify for the race.

The number of charters available was selected based on the teams that made or attempted to make a race every week over a three year period.

If a team is sold or goes out of business, the owner may sell his charter to another team owner.  The charter currently held by the new team 23XIRacing was obtained in this fashion.

However, if an owner’s team finished the season in the bottom three of the owner standings for three consecutive seasons, he may lose his charter.

Currently the charter system is set to continue through the 2024 racing season.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps spoke on the charter system saying, “the Charter agreement is delivering stability and long-term value to existing team owners while providing a clear path for ownership in the NASCAR Cup Series… A healthy ownership structure ensures strong, competitive racing for our fans, which is a goal the industry collectively shares.”

Owners are allowed to have up to four cars.

The 36 teams who hold a charter for the 2021 racing season are:
Richard Petty Motorsports for the number 43 car
Petty Ware Racing for the number 51 car
Richard Childress Racing for the number three and eight cars
StarCom Racing for the double zero car
Team Penske for the number two, 12, and 22 cars
Hendrick Motorsports for the number five, nine, 24, and 48 cars
Roush Fenway Racing for the number six and 17 cars
Chip Ganassi Racing for the number one and 42 cars
Joe Gibbs Racing for the number eleven, 18, 19, and 20 cars
Stewart Haas Racing for the number four, 10, 14, and 41 cars
Spire Sports for the number seven, 77, and 99 car
Front Row Motorsports for the number 34 and 38 cars
Rick Ware Racing for the number 52, 53,
JTG Daugherty Racing for the number 47 car
23XI Racing for the number 23 car
Wood Brothers Racing for the number 21 car
Live Fast Motorsports for the number 78 car
Rick War Racing also has a charter for the part time cars 15, 27, and 54