BK Racing, which fields the No. 23 Toyota of Gray Gaulding in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, is going up for sale, according to the race team’s court-appointed trustee Matt Smith. The sale will include the team’s charter, which guarantees starting spots in Cup Series races.
“We’re selling a race team; we’re not just selling a charter,” Smith said after a hearing in Wester District Court of North Carolina on Tuesday, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. “So the charter is the largest asset in this case, but it’s not the only asset. This is a viable race team, and we’re trying to prove that each and every week. We’re meeting obligations of NASCAR by showing up and competing in good faith. This isn’t just a liquidation. What brings the best result to all creditors is the sale of a race team, not just the sale of an asset.”
BK Racing filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, with debts including $9.25 million to Union Bank & Trust, a federal tax lien of over $600,000 and more than $1 million total owed to more than 20 other creditors. Smith was appointed by the court as trustee to operate the team, in the best interest of the creditors, in place of team owner Ron Devine in March. Smith has kept the team on the race track on a weekly basis so that the team would retain its charter, revokable by NASCAR if the No. 23 team started missing races.
“I think there needs to be a change in ownership in the team, and I think this process will do that,” Smith said. “I’m working really, really hard to make sure we get the right outcome for this team.”
According to Smith, the new owner would get the race team’s assets, including the charter, but not acquire its debts. The eventual new owner would have to be approved by the court and Smith would have to show that he got the best price possible in the sale.
BK Racing debuted in NASCAR’s premier series in 2012 and operated as a two-car team prior to the 2018 season, also fielding a No. 83 entry. Gray Gaulding, who previously left the team as a result of a pay dispute last year, returned to drive the No. 23 in 2018. In the 15 races so far this season, Gaulding has a best finish of 20th in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February. He is 32nd in the series points standings.