NASCAR sucks.... up all the money - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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NASCAR sucks.... up all the money

Interesting read on where the money is.
No wonder bikes can't begin to make a dent.

http://www.speedtv.com/commentary/35227/

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While waiting for Champ Car to announce any driver, Gene Simmons to unveil another verse of "I Am Indy," and ESPN to give Michael Waltrip his own channel, all this down time gave me a chance to do a little research on the state of purses and payouts in American motorsports.

And the return vs. the investment.

As you might imagine, NASCAR Nextel Cup is so far ahead in this department it's embarassing.

Last year, Jimmie Johnson earned $8,909,140 in prize money for Hendrick Motorsport on his way to his initial title and that's not counting the $6,785,982 he received in series sponsor points.

That's $15,770,125 for those of you keeping score at home. FOR ONE TEAM!

The total payout (with no bonuses) for the 78 drivers who competed in one, some or all of the 36 events in 2006 was a staggering $219 million.

By comparison, the Indy Racing League dolled out a total of $24 million in purses ($10 million coming from the Indianapolis 500) with Sam Hornish Jr. collecting $3,835,205 for his third championship. That included $1 million bonus for capturing the title, not bad for 14 races.

But still way out of whack considering a budget to run up front is anywhere from $6-9 million per car.

Further north on Indy's westside, Champ Car paid $6,553,000 in purses to its competitors for 14 starts and another $1,550,000 in point money. Or about the same as Johnson's bonus check.

Even though a competitive budget for Champ Car might be as low as $5 million, the payout still explains why ride buyers can flourish in this series.

For his third consecutive championship and seven victories, Sebastien Bourdais grossed $1,282,500 and that included $500,000 for the title. To give you an idea of how disproportionate things are, Kenny Wallace finished 43rd in the Cup standings in 2006 and brought in more money ($1.3 million) than Bourdais.

And the second-tier Busch series even paid its champ (Kevin Harvick) $1.3 million.

In 13 seasons, Paul Tracy has racked up $12.3 million in earnings while Jeff Gordon has eclipsed $60 million during the same time frame.

But the bottom line is even sadder in sports cars.

The Grand Am series was founded and funded by NASCAR but you won't confuse it with the stock car division.

Other than the Rolex 24 Hours (which paid $100,000 to win last month), a victory in Jim France's series is worth a piddly $25,000 (unless you're not a member of the Pacesetter's Club and then it only pays $15,000).

There's quite a dropoff in the Daytona Prototypes at the big race since second is worth $35,000 and fifth brings in $10,000. "Not enough to pay the hotel bill," said one owner.

Chip Ganassi, whose budget with sponsor Telmex and Carlos Slim's deep pockets is thought to be in the $4 million range, raked in a whopping $150,000 in purse money last year for taking the 14-race team title.
In the current realities of open-wheel racing, it may be easier for team owners to survive in Atlantics (above) and IPS than in Champ Car or the IndyCar Series. (LAT Photo)

Jorg Bergmeister, who captured the driver's crown, received a Rolex watch, a discount pass to Daytona USA and a firm handshake from president Roger Edmonson.

In the more sophisticated American Le Mans Series, where slick cars like the Audi and Porsche are seven-figure creations, the purses are also seven figures but only if you count cents.

The winner of this month's Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring classic will win $24,000 or, to be more precise, about $2,000 an hour which, ironically, is the going rate at a wind tunnel.

Honda is battling Porsche this season in LMP2 and they'll spend more on hospitality than their three-team lineup can earn.

ALMS also has a unique pay scale. If you are a full factory team, you are not eligible for prize money and, in 2005 at Sebring, 22 of the 38 starters got zero prize money.

My beloved USAC midget racing is also a financial train wreck. Engines can cost as much as $45,000 yet the purses have hardly increased since the 1970s and the winner is lucky to get $1,500 most nights.

At least you can go outlaw sprint car racing in Indiana for a reasonable amount of money and have a shot to win $4,000.

The Formula Atlantic series boasted a $2 million prize for the winner (Simon Pagenaud) to take to Champ Car and $3.7 million in purses while the IRL's Indy Pro Series is paying out $4 million in 2007 and offers as much as $41,000 for a win. An owner can't get rich running either open wheel feeder series but it's possible to survive.

Obviously, with Nextel, FOX, NBC, ABC, TNT, SPEED and ESPN spending hundreds of millions to be partners, it's good to be a car owner and better to be a driver in NASCAR's top tier.

Until IRL and Champ Car can secure a title sponsor, improve TV ratings substantially (or quit having to buy time) and find a way to put money into their teams (without Tony George, Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe writing checks), the economics of open wheel will be hopeless.

A good shoe in Champ Car or IRL can make a decent living off of their retainer but not many would want to make it on 40 percent of the purse (especially in Champ Car) like the old days.

Grand Am sports a ton of good drivers yet doesn't draw much of a crowd but it does have the France faction to keep things afloat while ALMS suddenly has some muscle from manufacturers and some momentum. But neither sports car series makes financial sense at the moment and drivers have to scramble to make a living.

And, if things weren't depressing enough for open wheel and sports cars after reading this, there was this headline in Wednesday's editions of USA Today: "$18 Million on Line at Daytona."

That's a whole year of Champ Car, IPS, Atlantics, USAC, ALMS and Grand Am in four hours

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Last edited by HDTony; 02-11-2007 at 12:35 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 11:11 AM
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 12:22 PM
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Great Robin Miller commentary- very insightful as always, eye opening, and ultimately depressing in this case if you care at all about any kind of car racing (except NASCAR) in this country.

Which I do...thanks for the link.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 12:36 PM
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 01:47 PM
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I like nascar!!!! I don't see anyone complaining how much professional football or baseball players make. Or how about how much jessica simpson or j-lo make. Let's face it their paycheck is is fan based. You can't find single nextel tickets but indy tickets are given away. The last two years I have been offered free tickets because you have to buy the bundle and noone wants them.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 02:06 PM
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nascar is popular b/c the drivers are just like the fans, fat and drunk.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 02:15 PM
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It's a sad reality, what the ignorant masses flocking to spectate a sport they really don't understand can do. Open wheel racing didn't help themselves any by splitting the series in two and essentially creating a road course series and an oval series. The worst part of all of this to me, is the soap opera reality show that's been created to accommodate people who for the most part have come to look at the colors, see big wrecks and follow the storylines. People that really aren't racing fans as much as they are tv fans. It's terrible, it's ruined NASCAR for me (i used to be a fan) and sadly, many other series are attempting to emulate NASCAR in the hopes of taking a chunk for themselves

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 03:28 PM
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Grand Am is awesome but I hardly get to see any of it, thank you Nascar.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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What a load of crap. I am and have been a NASCAR fan for years. My only beef is the constant rule changes. I don't give a damn howl much a driver gets, what sponsors are doing to promote and definitely don't care about what others think of when it comes to what they get paid.

All the major sports are ridiculous. Baseball was so bad they had the nerve to go on strike! And those players are getting paid millions before they even step on the field! Football is crazy too. I mean try getting a commercial during a game. If it's the Superbowl you're definitely S.O.L. Unless you're Busch, Coke and whomever else that dominates the commercials every year.

For someone to look at NASCAR and call the payout embarrassing is stupid to me. I don't watch for the wrecks and I definitely don't care howl a fan looks. He should have researched howl much it costs for several engines, all the tires, the fuel, etc. and then paying the pit crew. If I was a team owner I'd be screaming for more sponsorship! Isn't it the same with Moto GP? Do you lease, build or buy? It's millions of dollars on the line - for one team!

I just know that NASCAR has opened the door to a point that it is now a multi-cultural thing. Way better than say the on a beach back in the day when this all started. As far as the fan base I don't get howl fans are criticized for watching. If they want to see a wreck then so what. There are plenty of race fans that just truly enjoy watching someone try to hang on WITHOUT WRECKING and take the checkered flag. PLENTY OF THEM. I don't think credit is given enough. The fans all have their favorites and the last thing they want to see is a wreck. Something that can take out "their" driver and or ruin the chances of him winning. For instance your driver has a nice lead but a yellow flag closes the gap. Now when they go green you have up to 40 something vultures right in your rearview mirror. Makes for great racing but you just don't want to see a wreck (unless it takes out Earnhardt, Jr., no harm to him though, then it's ok ).

It's the same ol' same ol. If you're a superstar in sports your pay will be astronomical. The other car races mentioned are not as popular thus can't produce the funds. Just like Moto GP being brought to America. Or soccer being made a prime time sport. Not happening yet leave this country and you'll see superstars and more than likely you'll see other "Jimmie Johnson's" raking in the dough.

This report was a waste of his down time to me.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 03:38 PM
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The drivers hate what NASCAR has imposed on the superspeedways

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In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 04:37 PM
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What a load of crap.
For someone to look at NASCAR and call the payout embarrassing is stupid to me.
This report was a waste of his down time to me.
My man: I think you totally missed the point! Robin Miller is looking at the big picture here. He's insightfully commenting on the state of American car racing in general, and how out of proportion NASCAR's popularity and money has come at the expense of other, different, more pure racing. He's not only bashing NASCAR driver's compensation, he's showing how it's so excessive to other forms of U.S. racing, open wheel and production based. The author, like myself, is a fan of other series and all forms of car racing in general that are suffering and struggling for survival because of NASCAR's obvious popularity. We hate seeing other forms of racing almost disappear and struggle for existence when we know there's much more advanced technology and talent evident there every weekend on the track, but it's not televised or covered. We hate the "least common denominator" or "easily understood while drunk in front of a tv" aspect of NASCAR racing.

Even fans have to admit it's gotten tiresome and predictable, and pretty much a joke. I mean let's get real here. For example, Dale Earnhart, Jr. has become a national hero, a superstar, a celebrity, an endless media focus, someone to be admired and looked up to, fans literally can't give him enough of their money and attention directly or indirectly...because he...because of...hmmm...?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 06:29 PM
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Even fans have to admit it's gotten tiresome and predictable, and pretty much a joke. I mean let's get real here. For example, Dale Earnhart, Jr. has become a national hero, a superstar, a celebrity, an endless media focus, someone to be admired and looked up to, fans literally can't give him enough of their money and attention directly or indirectly...because he...because of...hmmm...?
Ugh...thank you

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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I did?

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My man: I think you totally missed the point! Robin Miller is looking at the big picture here. He's insightfully commenting on the state of American car racing in general, and how out of proportion NASCAR's popularity and money has come at the expense of other, different, more pure racing. He's not only bashing NASCAR driver's compensation, he's showing how it's so excessive to other forms of U.S. racing, open wheel and production based. The author, like myself, is a fan of other series and all forms of car racing in general that are suffering and struggling for survival because of NASCAR's obvious popularity. We hate seeing other forms of racing almost disappear and struggle for existence when we know there's much more advanced technology and talent evident there every weekend on the track, but it's not televised or covered. We hate the "least common denominator" or "easily understood while drunk in front of a tv" aspect of NASCAR racing.

Even fans have to admit it's gotten tiresome and predictable, and pretty much a joke. I mean let's get real here. For example, Dale Earnhart, Jr. has become a national hero, a superstar, a celebrity, an endless media focus, someone to be admired and looked up to, fans literally can't give him enough of their money and attention directly or indirectly...because he...because of...hmmm...?
So basically you're saying NASCAR is the Wal-Mart of the race car industry? And this is different from other sports howl? I mean like I typed, what other sport isn't like this to some extent? High paying athletes while other forms of that same sport are downplayed? I used the example of MotoGP and asked that same question. Isn't there other 2 wheel racing going on as well? And though I'm not a fan of Jr., it's racing and their will be true fans. Hell, Jr. oddly enough is even made to be some type of sex symbol. That has nothing to do with racing! But then a woman in a diaper going across the country to kill someone has nothing to do with NASA either. I'll agree NASCAR has done non-stop promoting. But c'mon. This was a sport that actually had that sitting in front of the t.v. with a beer fanbase and nothing else.
This is the world we live in. This fan of car racing (some that the author of the article mentioned) will continue to watch and basically enjoy what I can. I don't have the money to stop Fox, ESPN or any other's from doing what their doing. The fans as a whole probably do. I'm not sure. But still, I'm not about to run from NASCAR regardless. I enjoy the racing itself. I typed that. I'm not missing anything. Aren't there marketing people on this site? I mean that's what made NASCAR bigger than the earth itself almost. While you guys focus on Dale outside of his racing skills I'll be looking at the laps and the cars. The rest should try to do the same. It sucks but it is the way it is.

And tiresome and a joke? I guess if you concentrate on everything but the racers and the track, sure does. Still, I'm happy every Sunday and I make sure I have the surround sound turned up and enjoy the next hours of racing. You guys don't like it, your prerogative. It's like the political forum. We're not going to change each other's mind for the most part. I agree NASCAR is a mammoth of things. But I'm not going to apologize for being a true race fan of the sport.

Go 24! I'm out

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 08:23 AM
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Uhm, it's show business, not what's a more "pure" motorsport (as much of bullshit statement that is). Ya can go to NASCAR event, and see every part of the track from any seat. Try that with Indy (unless they happen to do the oval once in a blue moon) or any other "pure" motor sport. Those "pure" sports are awesome to watch on TV. TV however doesn't sell merchandise, beer and hot dogs.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:05 PM
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And how much does Rossi make a year?

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:14 PM
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And how much does Rossi make a year?
Someone correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe his base salary is something like 5-7 mil a year from Yamaha, 3 times that in endorsements.

Tom

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In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:18 PM
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I assume none of you hate nascar because of the huge differences...?? right??

you should be pissed at all of the other series for not being able to market their product like nascar.

I say shame on everyone else - not nascar

fyi - there was 49,000+ fans at the Supercross races yesterday-I dont recall where it was.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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Exactly

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I assume none of you hate nascar because of the huge differences...?? right??

you should be pissed at all of the other series for not being able to market their product like nascar.

I say shame on everyone else - not nascar

fyi - there was 49,000+ fans at the Supercross races yesterday-I dont recall where it was.
+1

NASCAR isn't making it hard for other series of racing to market. They just don't do it. At least, that's the way it seems.
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