NASCAR ends tradition of providing race winnings

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – 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. For example, Jeff Gordon was listed as winning a record $153,703,667 over 20 seasons in the No. 24 Chevrolet. His replacement, Chase Elliott, won’t have a publicly released career winnings total for his starts in the No. 24 Chevrolet.

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.

“Whether you divide it and say it’s a little bit of this, little bit of that and publish it on Monday, we don’t think it’s value-added because it’s not like golf,” he said. “Golf publishes that. We don’t publish at the end of the NBA score that LeBron made $4 million for free throws. It’s not contemporary. Our fans get change.”

IndyCar takes a similar approach, publishing none of its winnings for races aside from the Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR outlined much of the framework for charter teams Tuesday during a ballyhooed news conference, but there wasn’t as much information provided about the open teams. A fan outcry erupted on social media when a charter wasn’t assigned to Wood Brothers Racing, which has competed in NASCAR since 1950, prompting many questions about the deal.

Dewar provided some details about how the system would work for the four slots available to teams without charters:

–Open teams also will receive a guaranteed amount (referred to as a “fixed purse) as the charter teams do, but it will be much smaller. Dewar said it was roughly 30 percent of the guarantee for a chartered team.

–If fewer than four open teams compete in a race (meaning a field of fewer than 40 cars), the leftover money will be placed in a year-end pool that will be distributed among the top three open teams based on performance. Wood Brothers Racing, which plans to field Ryan Blaney full time in the No. 21 Ford, is the only open team that has announced intentions to run the full season.

“A field for us is 36 (cars), not 40,” Dewar said. “So if we get 38 cars at California and Phoenix, we’re not disappointed.

“We anticipate the logistics model for some of the smaller teams doesn’t make sense to go to all the races, based on the distance and purse.”

–Dewar said NASCAR isn’t expecting many open teams to employ a start and park strategy (which usually was dependent on the higher purses available to teams that would have been considered open under the previous system). Chartered teams are disincentivized from the controversial practice, risking the loss of a charter if they don’t meet performance standards that haven’t been made public.

Dewar said the Daytona 500 would remain the highest-paying race of the season and said the amount of money provided to teams would increase each year over the nine years of the term.

Though the winnings won’t be disseminated to the public anymore, teams have been provided extensive documentation that explains how much they’ll receive for finishing in each position of every race.

NBC Sports has learned that some “open teams” are expecting to earn a minimum of roughly $160,000 for finishing last in the Daytona 500. Last year, under the race purse that included contingency plans, the last-place finisher earned $262,000.

Xfinity race results, point standings after Bristol

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Chase Briscoe led the final six laps and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol for his seventh win of the season.

Briscoe beat Ross Chastain for the win. The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

Click here for the race results.

Playoff standings

The 12-driver field for the playoffs has been set with Briscoe’s win in the regular-season finale.

Brandon Brown placed 12th and clinched the 12th and final spot.

Here are the re-seeded point standings entering the playoffs.

Chase Briscoe – 2,050 points

Austin Cindric – 2,050

Justin Allgaier – 2,033

Noah Gragson – 2,025

Brandon Jones – 2,020

Justin Haley – 2,018

Harrison Burton – 2,014

Ross Chastain – 2,010

Ryan Sieg – 2,002

Michael Annett – 2,002

Riley Herbst – 2,001

Brandon Brown – 2,000

Click here for the re-seeded standings.

Click here for the normal point standings.

Chase Briscoe wins Xfinity race at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Chase Briscoe took the lead with six laps to go and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, which marked the end of the regular season.

Briscoe passed Austin Cindric to assume the lead and went unchallenged to the checkered flag. The victory is his series-leading seventh of the season.

“I was so mad after last week (at Richmond),” Briscoe told NBCSN. “I told all the guys there ain’t no way we’re getting beat today. I was so mad after how we ran last week and I get on the internet all the time and see guys count us out after one bad race and I know what this team is capable. … I finished second here the last two races and I wanted to win here so bad and it’s awesome that I can actually celebrate it with all these race fans.”

The top five was completed by Ross Chastain, Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

More: Race results, playoff standings

Allgaier dominated the early portion of the race, leading 126 laps and winning the first two stages. But he lost the lead for good in the pits during the Stage 2 break.

Brandon Brown finished 12th and clinched the 12th and final playoff spot.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ross Chastain led three times for 117 laps, but had to settle for his fifth runner-up finish of the season without a win … Austin Cindric earned his 13th top-10 finish in the last 14 races … Harrison Burton earned his 13th top five of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt finished 27th after he had to pit three times in the opening laps and was penalized for taking fuel before the competition caution … BJ McLeod finished 34th after he was eliminated in a multi-car wreck that began when he made contact with teammate Jeffrey EarnhardtMichael Annett finished 31st and Joe Graf Jr. placed 27th after they were involved in an incident on Lap 120.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I hit pit road and I wanted to cry.” – Ross Chastain after he finished second for the fifth time this year. He is winless entering the playoffs.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity playoffs open at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 26 on NBCSN.

 

Fans not allowed at Las Vegas races

Fans not allowed
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Spectators will be not be allowed for any of the NASCAR playoff races next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the track announced Friday night.

A press release said only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the Cup, Xfinity and Truck playoff races there.

“To say we’re disappointed that we will conduct the South Point 400 playoff weekend without fans would be a gross understatement,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. “Our staff has been working – many of them remotely – since the February Pennzoil 400 to prepare the speedway for our playoff tripleheader.

“But we must adhere to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directive that limits gatherings due to COVID-19.  While we disagree with this policy, we have no choice but to oblige.  We certainly regret this situation for the thousands of race fans who won’t be able to attend our NASCAR-weekend events.”

Nevada’s re-opening plan does not permit fans at sporting events, concerts. Groups are limited to 50 or fewer people.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced last month that they would not have fans at any of the team’s home games in its inaugural season there.

The Truck playoff race will be at 9 p.m. ET Sept. 25 on FS1. The Xfinity playoff opener will be at  7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 26 on NBCSN. The Cup playoff race will be 7 p.m. ET Sept. 27 on NBCSN.

Fans holding tickets for those events will be contacted by the speedway ticket services department to discuss credits for future races or refunds.

Pit crew change for Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson teams

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson each will have a pit crew change for Saturday night’s playoff race at Bristol.

The change is the result of an injury to one pit crew member.

Dustin Lineback, jackman for Bowman’s team is out with an injury, the team stated. Kyle Tudor, who has been Johnson’s jackman, moves over to that role for Bowman’s team. Eric Ludwig, a backup for Hendrick Motorsports, moves up to be the jackman for Johnson.

MORE: Saturday Cup race at Bristol: Start time, forecast, lineup

Bowman enters the elimination race 27 points ahead of teammate William Byron, the first driver outside a transfer spot to the second round. Bowman opened the playoffs by finishing sixth in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He followed that by placing ninth at Richmond. Bowman was collected in a crash and finished 37th in the May Bristol race.

Johnson, who is in his final full-time Cup season, seeks his first victory of the season. He finished third at Bristol in May.