NASCAR will no longer release or publicize the earnings of drivers in the box scores.
“I think some fans like to see that and us drivers, we like to see purses posted,” driver Denny Hamlin said recently at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. “It doesn’t matter whether you post it or not, but sometimes you win a race and it’s cool to see: ‘Hey, I did good this week.’”
Not publishing drivers’ winnings is part of the charter system that was announced in February. It also guarantees 36 Cup teams a certain amount of revenue in addition to prize money from races.
“It’s a new foundation and a new era,” NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Steve Dewar told NBC Sports. “We’ve changed a lot of things from that old model to this model. That’s one of the things that was from a different time and place.”
Hamlin said the new revenue streams are a good thing for teams. But he’s not sure he understands why earnings aren’t made public.
“Everything is better the way that they’ve formatted the purse now, it’s more of a linear line instead of a weird looking line,” Hamlin said. “When this happened, it forced everyone to go back to the drawing board and figure out what was a fair amount because the buckets got switched around a whole lot as far as purses were concerned. I think in the end, we’re all out here and I think everyone feels like they have a fair deal at this point. It’s all for the better I believe, but we would like to see the numbers get posted.”
“I don’t know what the benefit is from keeping it from the public,” he added.
Earnings have long been a measuring stick for how well a driver is performing during a season and career. Not divulging them has become a topic of conversation among fans, who have wondered why they can’t see how much drivers are making after a race.
“All the teams know what they are racing for, it’s listed in the charter agreements,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing officer. “Teams are aware and tracks are aware. We’re not hiding anything from the team owners in the tracks.”
Might NASCAR return to posting the winnings?
“It’s something we could continue to look at,” O’Donnell said.