So you’ve qualified for the Daytona 500, but how much does that pay?
It’s a bit more complicated than thanks to the Charter system, guaranteed starting spots, and starting spots for open cars.
Last Place For Charter Teams (In 2018)
Back in 2018, during the BK Racing bankruptcy filings, we learned that charter teams received at least $200k for starting the Daytona 500 and around $2.9M for the entire season. Not too shabby for a backmarker team, but also not enough to even remotely compete in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Charter teams are paid based on four categories: entering a race, historical performance over the past three seasons, the traditional points fund (with extra cash) and race results. While a little confusing to read it allows for a more predictable funding model for teams.
Last Place For Non-Charter Teams
During Thursday night’s Duels, Fox broadcaster Mike Joy said starting the Daytona 500 meant so much to teams like the Gaunt Brothers and Beard Motorsports because the last place pays “a quarter of a million.”
For Non-charter teams, there are no guaranteed winnings. If they make the field they are paid based on their finishing position but could miss out on some winnings a charter team would get. The $250,000 that the 2020 Daytona 500 pays is likely near what the worst-performing charter team will receive from the winnings purse. However, NASCAR doesn’t release purse information anymore outside of what the total purse is.
$250,000 to just start the Daytona 500 is a big payday for most non-charter teams. Hence why Gaunt Brothers and Rick Ware Racing were trying desperately to get their cars into the race.
Purses change each week so in Las Vegas next weekend a non-charter spot will not pay $250,000 to win. That’s just part of the struggle when you’re a non-charter team in this era of NASCAR.
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