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Author Topic:   Race Purses
Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted August 13, 2001 12:14 AM  
Spread all the way back. Not everybody can win.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 42
posted August 16, 2001 11:14 PM  
I agree with dirtracer17. Share the wealth. At least you can have the gas money to go back the following week.

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 13
posted August 16, 2001 11:17 PM  
I agree. Spread the wealth.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 278
posted August 17, 2001 02:14 PM  
I have always felt that the last place car should atleast get their pit pass money back.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 784
posted August 18, 2001 01:02 PM  
i agree that everybody should get there money back to get in the next week at are track at baxter they only pay the top 2 and everybody else gets a card that says 1 free pit pass plus you have to pay 2 dollers tax to get in they do thise in are mini stock class and stockcar class

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 11
posted September 07, 2001 09:30 AM  
As long as we are not talking about welfare racing. Tow money is fine but pay the top 3 well for there efforts, If need be change your track rules for that class if you think they are unfair.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 77
posted September 07, 2001 01:00 PM  
The top 2 or 3 should be paid well for their efforts. Pay through the top 20 and have a provision for tow money. Tow money should have a cap on it but encourage those that have to haul to race at your track.

Big purses at the top do attract drivers. Other incentives like quick time dollars, and pay or sponsor merchandise for heat wins has been received well.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 715
posted September 09, 2001 07:44 PM  
I say all the way back.We (newbies)need some small reason to keep getting the dirt in the face from the front runners and we do help make the show.But I do agree top cars ought to be 2 cents.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 44
posted September 09, 2001 08:15 PM  
I agree, why not share the wealth....We are all in it for the same thing. Fun and earnings, must mostly fun!

Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 4
posted September 09, 2001 08:25 PM  
Originally posted by jammin:
What do you like better a larger purse up top or spread all the way back?


A good incentive to win,then pay good all the way back.$30 or $40 to start a modified feature and then pay the same for the next 10 spots is cruel.Another of the "BAD" new trends is the PIT PASS.If I go to a track all year and my pit pass is $17,why is it $20 or $25 for a speacial in Sept.Did my pit insurance just get better?I don't think so!I notice Boone & Farley doing this,a different fee every day at the speacials.What a crock!!

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 72
posted September 17, 2001 12:50 AM  
Most tracks around here are 25 for a regular night of racing and 30 for special shows. Dallas area that is.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 47
posted September 18, 2001 10:17 PM  
A couple of thoughts'
They used to pay lap leader money at a track I ran Late Models at. It was 5.00 to lead and the line up was a handicap with last weeks winner starting last regardless of points. They tracked the laps led all year and awarded trophy and 500. to the lap leader champion. It was never the points leaders as they always led late do to the lineup format.I'd like to see that again.

The one thing that is going on at alot of special shows that I hate is paying everyone from 5th on back the same. I don't care if it's minimal but pay me for passing someone. What's the point,take the start money on the first lap and pull off if your not in the first three rows. I would like to see the promoters face when 15 of us pulled off at the same time because it all paid the same.

As far as weekly racing everyone who starts should get money. At least pit passes.

Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted October 28, 2001 04:36 PM  
I think I like your first way better. At least give me enough money to get back in next week.

Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted October 29, 2001 10:18 PM  
The problem the promoter has with the first pay scale is that he will get tremendous pressure to raise the top figure. One of his primary jobs is to get cars to the track. And, the first question out of a racer's mouth is, "what's it gonna pay to win?"

If the To Win money is only 300 bucks, he's gonna have to do some tap dancing to the potential racer. It'll go something like this: "Well, we're paying 300 to win, but we'll pay better further down the field to compensate for that. The math works out the same and you'll be better off and blah blah blah...."

Racers have very short attention spans. After the promoter said 300 to win, he probably lost the potential racer. I run a race track and have been through this over and over again. So, what the promoter does is raise the To Win money to an attractive level, say 600, and then he'll try to keep the majority of the class happy with payout numbers similar to your first list. But, unless he's got big fan counts in the stands that he can regularly rely on, the math isn't there.

Let's say he (the promoter) added another $300.00 to cover that top spot and now the total purse for the class is $2820.00. Let's say his 20 cars are paying $20 bucks entry. There's 400 in income. Then we've got another 25 pit passes, let's say, at another $20 a piece. There's 500 bucks. So, he's getting 900 through the pits for this class to cover a $2820.00 payout.

That means that he must make up almost 2 thousand bucks through other revenue sources. Main gate spectators, right? At 7 bucks a head that works out to 274 race fans he needs to cover that total payout, for just one class.

But, remember, the promoter's gotta cover the cost of running the track, too. That money's gotta come from somewhere. Here's some minimums:

-Insurance - over 1000
-Rent/lease/mortgage on track - usually over 1000.
-Payroll (flagman, scorekeeper, gates, security, pit stewards, tech, track prep personnel): Let's say 500 if he's smart and gets away with a lot of volunteer help.
-Utilities: 100
-Ambulance fees: 200
-Promotions (advertisements) - 200
-Equipment maintenance/payments: 100 (going cheap here)

There's more, but let's keep it simple here. On the very cheap side it'll cost that track 3000 bucks to just get the show on. That's another 400 paying spectators. So, just to cover this one modified race we need 674 paying adult customers to break even.

Now, most tracks don't have the fan counts like Eldora, so I can tell you that on average getting 1000 people in the stands is a good night these days for an average dirt track. And, a lot of those folks will be promotial freebee's. My really good nights results in 4000 bucks at the main gate. My track's pretty small and I'm sure that others do better, but I know that a lot do worse.

If you add our modified class pit take (900) to the 4000 you get through the main gate you get 4900. Compare that to the 3000 dollar operating costs and the 2820 modified total purse = 5820.

Tracks can't operate at a loss or even at a break even point. Now I know that most tracks get advertising money and concessions revenue, but again, it's not as great as you may think. And there's alot of overhead involved with running concessions. Tracks also feed their higher class payouts (whatever it may be e.g. sprints, late models , modifieds) from the lower stock bodied classes. Those guys get less than they bring in to support the big guns. So, if you drive a modified or a late model, don't turn your noses at those lowly pure stockers: They're helping to make your purse.

I know this is long winded, but I post it to help you guys understand the other side of the fence. Every racer in the world wants big to win money and the whole field paid generously. But, most of those promoters are not making a fortune at this. If anyone's making money, it's the people in the performance parts industries.

Most racers are smart, but very tunnel visioned. Having a decent understanding of the promotions side of the house helps the whole sport.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 95
posted November 02, 2001 05:35 PM  
Hi Deek. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and experience. I did find a possible flaw in your calculations on the Modified payout, however. You left out all the cars that didn't make the show, IF you have a big enough car count. If you started the night with, say, 28 cars, you'd have eight entries and more crew fees to add to the purse, as well. I've run plenty of places where the semi pays a few bucks, if any at all, to the guys who don't transfer. The guys who do transfer usually don't get anything extra. Just a thought...

Anth USA-1
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted November 02, 2001 06:55 PM  
Pay more the whole way back...that little bit of extra cash could help buy a tire or rim...and eventually make the competition a little better. Of course, the tracks have the final say in that matter though!

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 45
posted November 02, 2001 08:00 PM  
You're right, Bkap. And, I'm not saying that there aren't some greedy promoters out there. If you you're racing with 20 plus mods and you look into the stands to see AN HONEST 3000 people, well then...the purse money ought to be at least what was listed above.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 95
posted November 02, 2001 09:22 PM  
A local dirt race track should be a community deal, in my view, not a corporate grab for profits like NASCAR and ISC (International Speedway Corporation). I realize a race track is usually a private business, but one big way businesses prosper is to include the community (customers and product, as in the racers) in the "wealth." That means if the place is making good money, it should be shared with the racers by way of decent regular purses and special bigger money local shows. The converse should work, as well. During hard times for the track the racers should be willing to help build the program by being patient, helpful and by not demanding more money that isn't there. Part of the problem is the age old labor/management dispute. Everyone's negotiating and no one's telling the truth. I've seen promoters get concessions from racers based on promoises made but when it comes time for the payback, no one's home.

It sounds like Deek is an honest promoter, even though that's usually a contridiction of terms.

[This message has been edited by bkap (edited November 02, 2001).]

Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted November 08, 2001 11:54 AM  
Have you ever noticed the way some tracks"inhance"the payoff,by starting 18 cars in the feature instead of 24 and putting the money for the last 6 places toward the top end of the payoff..

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted November 14, 2001 12:54 PM  
well I've never run a track but I've rarely seen a car come in with just two people we run 3 cars and at the minimum have 12 people with us Volunteers we let them pack 'hotlap some and usaully race at least once a year I don;t think 20 cars would only carry 45 pit passes

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted November 16, 2001 11:15 AM  
In chandler if they open i think are paying 1000 for mods
350 for bombers

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 74
posted November 25, 2001 12:51 AM  
At our track the cars care all about equal and where you start you usually finish about the same unless your Jeff Gordon or somebody wrecks or if your just cheating real bad like my brother which is always in the top 3
so I think the money should be spread all the way back

Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted December 09, 2001 03:11 PM  
Check out and look under the "revin and racin" special show for Jan.4&5. This is a classic example of how not pay the purse at a big show. They could have ran 2 nights for regular purse and IMCA points and had a good car count. I haven't talked to anyone that is willing to do this deal. What do you guys think?

Look at the forum board. The track has chose not to listen as far as I can tell.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted December 15, 2001 02:38 PM  
I'd be surprised if the top 4 don't all get claimed on this one.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 47
posted December 18, 2001 08:38 PM  
The promoters have reformatted this show. It will be regular purse without the entry. Now it is something we can do, let's go racing.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 170
posted December 30, 2001 09:53 AM  
Deek-- Did your forget to add in income from the advertisement at your Track. Our track has many signs from local area business to advertise there goods. i don't think these spaces are given away cheap.

All in all this is a very interesting thread.
Spread the money and keep the racers coming!!
Happy racing guys---Wheels

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 45
posted December 31, 2001 10:30 AM  
Yeah, forgot about that. Some places get very good money for that and others so-so. But, I can tell you that drumming up advertising for the track is one of the hardest, most thankless jobs anyone can ever do. You get many more "no's" than "yes's." But, I'm sure you know all about that if you've ever pounded the streets for race car sponsoring. I have a couple of adverstisers that are very good and help a lot. And, the rest require a ton of hard work and energy. That's a good reason why the promoter at your track may already be in a bad mood come race day...He's worn out from hitting the streets for advertising all winter and early spring! LOL

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 284
posted January 03, 2002 11:55 AM  
How about this feature payoff....1.$500.2.$425.3.$350.4.$300.5.$275.6.$225.7.$200.8.$190.9.$180.10.$170.11.$160.12.$150.13.$140.14.$130.15.$120.16.$$$50.00....CONSI.1.2. 3.4.$25.00 or a starting spot in feature..5.$100.6.$90.00.7.$80.00.8.$70.00.9.$60.00.10.$50.00.11.$40.00.12.$$20.00 each...

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 10
posted February 05, 2002 08:21 PM  
Top Three should get a better percentage.
But the last guy should get something too!
Spred it out a little.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 562
posted February 11, 2002 10:37 AM  
This is a reply to Deek.......I have raced at tracks all over the upper mid-west...and in my area I feel the purse for almost any class is SICK..........

Let me give you a few examples.....Track in Superior WI. payed the modifieds $700 to win three years ago, then the following year they allowed RV parking on the back straight.
They cut the purse to $500 to win for the mods.........
Then last year they cut that purse to "if we have X number of people in the grand stands we will pay a full purse.......full purse being the $500 to win" if we have less people we will pay less, you are now racing for a percent of the gate. they have a break down sheet that I don't have handy...but if there are 2000 people its a full purse..$500 to win.......if they have 1800 people its $450 to win.......and so on....they cut the whole purse all the way back........ We racers ask the management if they were willing to pay a percentage of the gate every night.......when then ran a special and the place had 4000 people could we get a percentage of the nights gate??? YOU ALREADY KNOW THE the people running this track think all racers are sooooo stupid we didn't notice the people that used to sit in the grand stands are now sitting in their RV's in the back...and what's worse is the promotor just lost revenue at the cononsession stands...NOW HOW IS STUPID?????

business is a gamble, and this system allows the people running the track to not do the work but still make a profit......

it's not a racers job to fill the grand stands.....that's the promotors job, it's the racers job to put on a show......and we do our part every week. The promotors in my area seem to sit on their hands, and are not out PROMOTING their business........they aren't doing their job, so why should they make a profit or even stay in business.........

I look at it this way, you could go into a business and buy something cheap, and everyone is happy......the customer, the business owner.......but if the business owner is only paying his employees minimum wage then he is stealing from his employee to make the profit........

I know it's a hard job (running a track)....and the person should be rewarded for his/her hard work........but not at the expense of his employees.......or sub-contractors.......

don't cry to me at the pit meeting that the grand stands are empty.......that is the same as saying "I DIDN'T DO MY JOB, BUT NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT SO YOU GUYS ARE RACING FOR FREE......

Another track here cut the purse opening night, they cut the purse in half......NO KIDDING.......then the following week they cut the cut purse again......30 now we are racing for about 35% of the FULL problem, the stands are empty, and I understand why you can't afford to pay I aske the promotor if the flag man and the consession girls would take a cut in pay.......his reply was...."I HAVE A HARD ENOUGH TIME GETTING THEM TO WORK FOR FULL PAY, IF I CUT THEIR PAY THEY WILL QUIT".......the following week he couldn't figure out why he didn't have any cars??????????

I have NO problem with a person making money by putting on a SHOW......but they need to do the work and sell the show to the public. Not steal money from the racers to stay in business..........

thanks Jeff

redneck bubbas racing
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 283
posted February 11, 2002 06:59 PM  
Jeff- Are you sure you aren't some type of philospher or lawyer? The way you worded that is unreal. That is exactly what I see happening all the time. Man do you have a way with words- PERFECT!

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted February 11, 2002 10:18 PM  
I'm speechless. I couldn't have put it or any where near as well as Jeff. Very well put Jeff.


Pavement is for getting there, dirt is for racing

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 79
posted February 12, 2002 05:36 AM  
Good point Jeff. Deek also made a good point. I'm glad that we don't have that situation here, although purses could be more. I believe that any position past the top ten should make their money back and only the top ten reap the real rewards. The top 2 or 3 cars should always earn an amount obviuosly separating them from the rest, and the rest of the top ten should receive trickle-down amounts.

As for the way that management is screwing thing up, I will quote myself from a previous post on a related subject...

"Band together and threaten to use a neighboring track (even if it's not better). Be prepared to follow through if you don't get anywhere. Your track won't make money if the entrants won't show up because spectator attendance will follow. If you have sprints & modifieds at your track, the management seems to listen more to these guys because they are a better draw for the crowd. Try to get more of them on your side."

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 45
posted February 12, 2002 12:10 PM  
Hey, nobody ever said that promoters can't be crooks, too, Jeff!

I have a unique perspective, because I'm still a racer while promoting a small track. We're ran by association, have about 55 cars in the pits, and I've been the president for some years now. It's not a perfect situation, but it does demand that I look at things from both sides.

I've attended a few of the annual promoter's work shops, where the tracks get together from across the country and compare notes. And, sadly, I can tell you that the leading topic isn't how to raise purses for the racers. In fact, many of the owners and promoters have just as bad of an advesarial view toward racers as many of the racers have toward them. Sharing the wealth is always a problem and I'm with you when I say that too often the promoters solve the problem by ignoring their racers.

So, what's the answer to getting the result you want? Jeff, you're a genius on car set-up. Often times I log on just to see what you've had to say lately so I can learn something new. But, would you bother giving advice to someone who complains of a loose out condition and then never does anything to fix it and ignores good advice?

The same situation is true when the racers complain about payouts. They need to organize and do something to fix the problem. But, here's where I disagree with what Macinah just said. Don't band together and get advesarial. Instead, why not get together and work with the track to make things better?

You said that it's the promoter's job to advertise and promote the track. Yeah, that's true to an extent, but trust me when I tell you that promoting is a huge job that can always be done better. It can't be done by one person and even can't be done to its true potential by even a small group of people such as the race track administration.

Think of what the racers themselves could do to promote the track if they organize and planned just a couple of projects a month...Schedule dispersal, car and driver appearances, fliers, get togethers, etc., etc.

Perhaps, if the racers did organize and then got with a good promoter at the track in question to discuss ways to improve fan numbers, you would see those gains in the stands that could result in improved pay-outs. At the very least you'd be fostering some good will. If you do that and the promoter turns out to be a greedy one way jerk, then resort to other alternatives.

The way I see it, if you love the sport, then you need to do what it takes to make whole experience good. I don't run my track for money (I get none). But, I'd have real trouble just going to a track week-in and week-out, unloading my car to race only to have to put up with track problems that I have no say in fixing or even making better.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 53
posted February 13, 2002 10:11 PM  
If you wanna know how to run a track, ask Mooney Starr @ Batesville Speedway in Arkansas. He both promotes races, and takes charge of his races. I believe ( not sure, but I believe ) he also has something to do with West Plains in Missouri, and now he's gonna get tri-state speedway in Pocola, OK (just outside of Fort Smith, AR) runnin' smooth. He could write a book on track operations.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 100
posted February 13, 2002 10:34 PM  
spread the money out but try to keep the top 3 higher for car count numbers

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 79
posted February 14, 2002 03:49 AM  
Deek... you make some good points and have a unique perspective. I have to agree that you should try to seek a peaceful, negotiable treaty before boycotting your track. I don't agree with your opinion on not banding together. Management does not listen to the voice of a few, and not all of us are the type to speak out. Some would rather have another carry the word while standing behind them.

There are a lot of us who attend and race at tracks that are making money and have many on payroll. If the management is smart... they attract more crowd by having more cars and faster classes.

I am driving in the Street Stock class. I won't fool myself by thinking that Street Stock is the main draw for the crowd.

Last year we had a new owner. Black flags came out at appropriate times... more drivers came to race... more spectators paid admission. This year all purses have been raised a little from last year from last year... we now have a little less than double the drivers, admission prices have not gone up. We don't have first practise until May 18, and spectator attendance is expected to significantly increase. We shall see.

This is all due to the new management.

Prior to the new management, our field of drivers had dwindled. The drivers slowly left for other tracks because they were tired of getting their cars forced into the wall with no resulting black flag and winnings were down. Crowd attendance suffered and the track changed hands a few times.

I'm glad that we have new management who, while trying to make money, knows that to continue to make money, you have to keep a good steady field of drivers of all classes. The draw for the drivers is a good, clean race and a chance to win a better purse. The draw for the crowd is a good, weekly, solid field of cars and classes. Sometimes you have to hit a person in the wallet before they will wise up and make a change.

Both management and drivers must be patient for results to happen. Attendance increases come more from word of mouth than anything. A track with a bad rap won't get much better attendance from paid advertising, with the exception of special events, instead most of it will come from the die hard attendees spreading the word about how much better the show is.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 45
posted February 14, 2002 08:44 AM  
Drivers should organize to correct these problems. That may be the only way for them in many cases. Maybe I wasn't clear on that.

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 12
posted February 26, 2002 03:08 PM  
If you think some of the purses are bad the track i am close to dont even give you anthing no matter wear you place. And the next closest track that runs mini stocks only gives 50 to the winner. the owners should give something to their support classes.
Originally posted by jammin:
What do you like better a larger purse up top or spread all the way back?


Dirt Freak

Total posts: 298
posted March 18, 2002 02:27 PM  
1st place pays last place's pit fees for the next week. 2nd place pays the 10th place finisher.


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