The official purse amount for Charlotte’s Coca-Cola 600 is not released by NASCAR but there is some data that gives us a general idea of the prize money. A 2018 bankruptcy filing by BK Racing revealed the purse amounts for many of the NASCAR races at the time of the legal proceeding.
According to the documents provided by NBC Sports, the Coca-Cola 600 that raced in Charlotte on May 27, 2018 had a purse number of $2,961,000. This is quite a bit more money than the purse for the Charlotte race in September a few months later in 2018 which had a little more than $1.6 million at stake.
The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the more lucrative races, but it is not to the level of the Daytona 500 which had a $15.4 million purse in 2018. Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass reported that most NASCAR races have a purse amount between $4.5 to $6 million with the majority of the money coming from the television deals along with the track’s sanction fees.
“NASCAR doesn’t release winnings. Purse money (and end-of-season bonus money) comes about 60-65% from TV, 30-35% from sanction fees charged to track, 2-5% from NASCAR. Purse for most events $4.5-6M (some events, like Daytona 500. much bigger),” Pockrass noted on Twitter.
The 2020 NASCAR Purse Money Is the Same Amount Despite There Not Being Fans Attending the Races
There is less money coming into NASCAR for each race with events being held without fans. NASCAR does not appear to be passing this lost money on to the drivers. Pockrass reported that the purse amount will remain the same as the charter agreement stated and is based on the track originally scheduled to host each event.
“NASCAR says payouts to teams will be same as set in charter agreement. The purse for the races that won’t happen that are being realigned to Darlington and Charlotte will be the payouts for those events. …The Cup races at tracks that have lost events have already been awarded to Darlington (two races) and Charlotte (one races). NASCAR will announce which tracks have lost events within next two weeks — teams need to know for sponsors; purse money for original tracks will be purse,” Pockrass explained in a series of tweets.
NASCAR Does Not Officially Release The Purse Data
NASCAR does release the purse info to race teams, but these details are not made public. NASCAR’s executive vice president Steve O’Donnell told the Charlotte Observer that purse amount is not released to the public as part of the charter agreement.
“All the teams know what they are racing for, it’s listed in the charter agreements,” O’Donnell explained. “Teams are aware and tracks are aware. We’re not hiding anything from the team owners in the tracks.”
Denny Hamlin is one of the drivers that has gone on record as being in favor of NASCAR making the prize money information public for fans. Hamlin admitted that he did not see a benefit for the undisclosed purse data.
“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 told Charlotte Observer. “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.”