What We Learned About NASCAR Costs From Brennan Poole Suing Ganassi

Brennan Poole is suing Chip Ganassi racing and his former agency Spire Sports stating that they conspired to move sponsor DC Solar from his Xfinity car to Kyle Larson’s Cup Series team. You can read all about it here from NASCAR rain man Bob Pockrass.

It’s what is in the complaint that has everyone interested. Anytime a NASCAR driver/team moves forward with legal action those documents are public and give insights into the price of running a NASCAR team and how salaries are set up. Since NASCAR doesn’t divulge financials any more lawsuits are poured over by everyone like it’s a Trump document in the Salon newsroom. Here is what we learned though.

How Much Does An Xfinity Team Cost At Ganassi?

$2.5 million for a 17-race in 2015;

$5.2 million for a full Xfinity season in 2016

$5.5 million for another full Xfinity season in 2017.

Basically $13.2M for eight Top-10 finishes from Poole in his two and a half years with Ganassi. He should have won Talladega but NASCAR awarded it to the resident old man who yells at clouds, Elliott Sadler. That $5M range is where everyone expected a competitive Xfinity series team to be at. Not a surprise but definitely interesting to see nonetheless.

What Does An Xfinity Salary At Ganassi Look Like?

One thing most people outside of the team accountant, owner and driver don’t know is a driver’s salary. Thanks to legal documents we all know now.

For Brennan Poole, his Xfinity deal was set up like this. $225,000 base salary at Ganassi plus 50 percent of the purse for a first-place finish, 40 percent for a top-10 and 30 percent for a top-20. Actually not a bad salary for an Xfinity only driver. He probably brought in a little under $500k a year which isn’t bad considering his performance.

How Much Did A JR Motorsports Ride Cost In 2016?

According to Spire Sports, that number was $7.5M when the actual number was $3.2M.

When I look at those numbers though the $7.5M seems like it is for the full season and the $3.2M is for a partial schedule like the one Poole ran in 2015 for Ganassi. $7.5M for a full season in top-level equipment is likely around the same amount Joe Gibbs Racing charges as well.

How Much Did RCR Want For A Cup Ride In 2018?

Brennan Poole was linked to RCR this offseason taking over the #27 car vacated by Paul Menard. It seemed like a done deal and that’s the last time I’ll trust Lee Spencer but it seemed done.

Obviously, it wasn’t a done deal but Spire sports told Poole it would take $15M from DC Solar. RCR said that they were only asking for $10M and DC Solar was only willing to spend $8M with RCR helping to set up business deals that would result in $6M profit for DC Solar.

That $10M again had to be for a partial schedule. There is no way a front of the mid pack Cup team is operating on only $10M a year. RCR is cheap but they aren’t that cheap.

It’s always interesting to see the financial side of the sport. Now if someone can sue Hendrick, Gibbs, and SHR we’d all really like to know their budgets and driver salary structure.

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