NASCAR cutting race purses

Official: NASCAR confirms race winnings to be slashed by 10 per cent in 2010.
As part of its cost-cutting measures, NASCAR is decreasing the amount it will pay teams in race winnings by approximately 10 per cent in 2010.

Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn told financial analysts about the cut during a conference call, and NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed it Friday morning last week.

Purses in all three national series - Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck - will decrease.

The move will help the tracks, which pay purse fees and a separate sanction fee to NASCAR. Part of the purse fees include television money - tracks get 90 per cent of the television money allocated for a race (NASCAR keeps the other 10 per cent), and the tracks then must put 25 per cent of the total television money allocated for the race back into the purse. The tracks then also contribute additional purse fees, as computed by NASCAR, with other contingency awards also added to the final purse.

International Speedway Corp. officials reported recently that they expect television money will increase by about 2.5 per cent this year but ticket revenues and other motorsports-related revenues are expected to drop 4-9 per cent.

"Last year we launched an industry-wide effort to help the sport manage budgets in this economy," Poston said in a statement. "NASCAR did the right thing to work with the tracks to reduce their costs in order to manage the economic realities.

"In return, the tracks have done a great job reducing ticket prices and enhancing the fan experience. Likewise, we worked with the teams to contain costs, such as elimination of testing and other steps. This is consistent with how virtually every sport and business has adjusted to the economy over the past year."

Michael Waltrip Racing executive vice president Ty Norris said he expects overall race winnings to end up being neutral when factoring in an increase in television revenue.

"The overall winnings should be close to neutral," Norris said. "The tracks have tried to help fans by reducing prices and this is one place that will be affected. If the fans and the tracks have had to tighten their belts, it's only natural that the teams are asked to participate as well. Fortunately the television revenue share will help offset some of that."

by Sporting News / NASCAR Wire Service

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Jimmie Johnson leads the field to the green in Las Vegas   [pic credit: Getty/NASCAR]

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