“It Doesn’t Make Sense to Spend More Money” – Denny Hamlin Exposes the Real Reason Why NASCAR Doesn’t Reveal Contract Prices

Published 04/01/2023, 8:02 PM EDT

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Conversations relating to financial aspects of sports, such as a sportsperson’s contract, entice a majority of fans. Fans love to see their favorite athletes splurging their money, going on exotic vacations, and buying expensive things. Naturally, they are also interested in learning about their favorite sportspersons’ earnings.

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However, unlike other sports, NASCAR is somewhat secretive about its monetary transactions. These transactions don’t get much publicity, but fans are curious nonetheless. Fortunately, we have drivers like Denny Hamlin who are always ready to answer fans’ queries. He recently revealed the reason behind NASCAR’s secrecy, and how mediocre teams are taking advantage of it to keep their pockets full.

Denny Hamlin reveals the reasons behind NASCAR’s silence


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In other major sports, many drivers get a fixed salary which is usually known to the fans. On top of it, they have sponsorship deals, which also are open affairs. However, NASCAR drivers have a “no-cap policy” on their salaries.

In the latest episode of the Actions Detrimental podcast, Denny Hamlin answered a fan’s question by saying, “I think the reason is because we have no salary cap, so it doesn’t have to be public information. [In] Other sports, it’s publicized. [..] A lot of it is because it’s public information. Because they have to monitor what the teams spend.


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“Around NASCAR, they always keep the money a little more secretive, they stopped posting what our winnings were.”

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The 23XI Racing co-owner pointed out that even the broadcasters respect NASCAR’s discretion. He said, “Bob Pockrass, each week posts like ‘with the charter and historical money and blah blah blah. The purse for this weekend is *blike.*’ But it’s not really broken down.

“We’ll have to ask NASCAR really why the money is hidden so much.”

Hamlin said that earlier, fans liked to see what their drivers earned on a given weekend. Though he doesn’t know all the reasons, Hamlin speculated that it started with the introduction of the charter system. He said, “They started changing where they put the money, so it used to all be in the race purse. and then 5–6 years ago when the charters came around, they started putting it in different buckets.”

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As the teams want more guaranteed revenue, NASCAR promises a fixed amount for each team that owns a charter. Additionally, NASCAR releases a fund based on the teams’ points standings in the previous three years. “Obviously first gets, you know a bigger share of the pie. So, that’s what we are essentially racing for,” Hamlin pointed out. The weekly race purse is also distributed based on rank.

Top teams lead in points whereas as bottom ones lead in business

Hamlin criticized the system and revealed that for many teams, there’s not much point in spending millions of dollars just to run ten spots better. He said that as a team owner, he understands that even if they spend more money to make the cars better, “the return’s really not there. There’s not enough discrepancy between being at the top versus being mediocre, being towards the back.


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The line is not very vertical, it’s more horizontal.”

This has resulted in small teams using only as much funds as are required to put the car on the racetrack, as they know that a gain of one or two positions will not be profitable.


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“Some of the most profitable teams are really at the back of the field,” Hamlin concluded. However, the mentality to put a car on the racetrack just to earn money is not something fans would applaud.

Watch This Story: Despite his “Cease to Exist” comment on Busch’s JGR exit, Denny Hamlin hands Kyle Busch a GOAT contention: “That’s Like a 160 Wins”



Written by:

Aneesh Gupta


One take at a time

Aneesh Gupta is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. It was his fascination with the automobile and engineering world that made him fall in love with motorsports in the first place. Having grown up seeing movies like Days of Thunder and The Last American Hero only cemented his passion for the American Stock car racing series.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal




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