NASCAR once-again makes total purse money public for Cup Series

Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin' the Tires

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the first time since the end of 2015, NASCAR will make public the total purse money drivers are competing for at each track on the circuit, starting with the record $23.6 million drivers will be competing for in Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Kicking off with the sport’s biggest race of the year, Chip Wile, President of Daytona International Speedway, said “The Daytona 500 is more than just the season-opening race. It’s a life-changing event for the winner, whose name will join the legends of this sport. Fans will pack the state-of-the-art motorsports venue, and millions will watch on television. And the reason is simple: The Daytona 500 is one of the premier events in all of sports, and now has the richest purse in history.”

At $23.6 million, the increase is roughly an 1,180-percent increase over the first Daytona 500 purse of just under $20,000 won by Lee Petty. Attendance will be greater than 100,000 people on Sunday – more than double 42,000 fans who watched the first race.

The change comes after charter agreements with teams locked down the amounts, but that has now changed. Kickin’ the Tires confirmed with a NASCAR spokesperson that, not only will NASCAR put the total purse money on each Cup Series entry form, tracks will also provide the numbers.

However, individual amounts won per driver will not be released.

A NASCAR spokesperson acknowledged the change in procedures, explaining the numbers will only be available for the overall purse in the Cup Series.

While Daytona pays the most of any event on the 36-race schedule, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said the two races in the Lone Star State are second and third on the list.

“There’s a reason why drivers want to race at Texas Motor Speedway,” Gossage said. “We are in the fourth-largest media market in the country and there are so many fans, so many sponsors, or potential sponsors based in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Texas pays, after the Daytona 500, the next two-largest purses of the year.”

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