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NASCAR ends posting race winnings

Ending a practice of more than six decades, NASCAR has stopped disclosing winnings in Sprint Cup box scores because of its new charter system, whose financial details are emerging. NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar told NBC Sports the decision was made to stop disseminating total purse and individual winnings for each race because “it’s not contemporary” under the new system announced Tuesday that guarantees revenue and race attendance for 36 teams with charters. Another four “open” cars – which don’t have charters that guarantee making the race – could round out each field for a maximum of 40 cars. “It’s a new foundation and a new era,” Dewar said. “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.” The move, which began with Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited, essentially ends career winnings as a calculable and comparable statistic. NASCAR has supplied race winnings virtually since its 1948 inception (Jim Roper is credited with earning $2,000 for winning the inaugural Strictly Stock race at Charlotte Speedway) and also listed each race’s total purse on entry blanks and box scores. The 2016 Daytona 500 entry blank didn’t contain a total purse or a breakdown of payouts by position. Those standard elements remain on the entry blanks for the truck and Xfinity series – both of which still have a race purse that includes money based on myriad contingency plans and finishing order.

Under the new system, NASCAR has set aside guaranteed revenues for chartered teams based on entering each race and on their performance over the past three seasons. They also will compete for a points fund with more cash. The fourth and final source of income for chartered teams is what traditionally has been called “the purse,” but in this case, it’s dependent solely on finishing position – carved out from the previous contingency plans that rewarded the most competitive teams. The chartered and open teams compete for the same pool of money in what is known as the “variable” purse that is based on results (in addition to the “fixed” purse that offers guaranteed money in much larger amounts for the charter teams). Dewar said it didn’t make sense to provide winnings that are listed according to drivers, which was misleading because the money actually was awarded to teams. Dewar contrasted it to a PGA event, where the listed winnings actually go directly to the golfer. IndyCar takes a similar approach, publishing none of its winnings for races aside from the Indianapolis 500.(in part from NBC Sports)(2-14-2016)