Purses redistributed to emphasize competition
February 06, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
Teams finishing in the final five positions of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will see a reduction in their take-home pay in 2013 as officials move to tackle the issue of organizations entering events with no intention of completing the race.
During a Feb. 5 media function in Detroit to kick off NASCAR’s “Road To Daytona” program, NASCAR President Mike Helton said the sanctioning body has addressed the problem by redistributing a portion of the purse money previously earmarked for positions 39 through 43.
“We moved some of the prize money off the back spots on up higher in the purse,” Helton said, “so that if someone’s intent is solely to run a lap or two and park it and go home, the revenue stream shrinks on that package.”
The payout for the five positions will be reduced approximately $4,000 per position, and that money will be redistributed throughout positions 1-38. Officials note that the move is not a purse reduction for 2013, and that overall, purses will see a slight increase.
Teams that have chosen to complete a reduced number of laps often have done so to save wear and tear on equipment and to limit costs.
But not all teams with lesser resources intentionally elect to exit early in every race. For some, the money earned in events they choose to do so allows them to run full races on other occasions.
Last month, Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith called the process, commonly referred to as start-and-park, “derogatory toward our sport.”
“I’m going to try my best … to see if NASCAR can do something about this,” Smith, whose company owns eight facilities that host Cup races, said. “It certainly isn’t adding anything to our sport, and it certainly takes away.
“I hope that we look back in about a year and that will be history, because it should be history.”