NASCAR Prize Money – How Much Do Drivers Get?

NASCAR is one of the most expensive sports to enter, whether as a team or a driver. With so much travel and less-than-desirable conditions in an ultra-fast car, drivers must receive generous compensation. So, you may wonder how much prize money NASCAR drivers get. 

NASCAR drivers get $5,000 to $100,000 per race depending on where they finish and what the event is. Since the advent of the chartered system, NASCAR no longer publicizes the amount of money drivers receive, but they do release the total prize pool that all chartered teams are guaranteed a share of.

Below, we will outline who really gets the money following a NASCAR race, and how much money a driver wins for the one race that NASCAR does disclose first-place prize money, the All-Star Race. We will also compare overall payouts in the Cup Series to the Xfinity and Truck Series. 

How Much Do NASCAR Drivers Get For Winning A Race?

The amount of money NASCAR teams and their drivers get for winning a race depends on several factors, but it’s probably in a range of around $5,000 to $100,000. It’s hard to know exact numbers as NASCAR no longer releases them to the public.

Each driver has a contract, which pays them a base amount of money per race, plus possible incentives for winning a race as outlined in the language of their contract. The additional money may come from the race team itself, plus the driver’s and the team’s sponsors. 

Each race on the NASCAR schedule also has a purse, and regardless of where a driver finishes, their team will get a cut of that purse. The higher the driver finishes a race, the more money their team will receive. But what makes up the purse? 

NASCAR Race Purse Explained

Just as every driver has sponsors, except for a few outliers, every race has sponsors. If you see a company name preceding a NASCAR event’s title (such as the Coca-Cola 600), that is one of the sponsors. There are also company logos throughout several sections of the track, sometimes on the SAFER barriers, and often even on the flags. 

Every company whose name and logo sponsors the race, or a portion of the race, pays a specific amount of money, and that money goes into the purse. NASCAR also has merchandise sales that they get a cut of in profits, plus money on ticket sales, and often even concessions. 

These also factor into the purse. There are no set numbers in dollar amounts. It all comes down to attendance, who sponsors the race, and how much is sold in the days preceding the event

NASCAR Doesn’t Reveal The Numbers

At one time, you could open up a newspaper and see how much money your favorite driver won in a specific race in a column under the word ‘Winnings.’ That is no longer the case, and NASCAR does not mention the dollar amounts the race winner gets. This is all thanks to the charter system introduced in 2016, which changed the landscape for NASCAR.

Now the teams, not the drivers, get the prize money. So, if a driver wins a race and they drive for Hendrick Motorsports, Hendrick gets the actual winnings while the driver will earn a cut of those winnings. We do not know of the actual amount each team, and by extension each driver, receives for winning a race, but there is one exception. 

How Much Do NASCAR Drivers Get For Winning The All Star Race?

NASCAR drivers get $1 million for winning the All Star race. The $1 million prize for the All-Star Race has been constant since 2003, the last season that NASCAR raced under the Winston Cup label. The All-Star Race, like the Clash, is one of NASCAR’s money races, meaning no points are awarded.

This prize amount, however, could change in the future since NASCAR drivers make more money in the 2020s than they have at any other time, despite the sport’s popularity having sunk since 2003. Jimmie Johnson, for example, earned $7.7 million in 2003, and only eventual champion Matt Kenseth earned more that season. 

Fast forward to 2022, when Kyle Busch brought in $16.9 million as the highest-paid driver. While $1 million is still a solid chunk of change, it comprised roughly 13% of what Johnson made in 2003. In 2022, it comprised just 6% of Kyle Busch’s salary. 


• NASCAR doesn’t release prize money figures anymore

• The prize money goes to the teams, from which the drivers then get a cut

• There is a $1 million prize for the winner of the All Star race

How Much Money Does The NASCAR Champion Get?

NASCAR does not disclose the prize money amount that the NASCAR champion gets. We do know, however, that the actual purse at the season finale race at Phoenix is often around $10 million. By comparison, $8 million has been the purse over the previous two years at Martinsville. 

NASCAR drivers may also get bonuses from their teams or sponsors if they win the championship, as is often the case with things like race wins and poles. 

NASCAR Prize Money By Race 

RacePrize Money
Daytona 500$23.6 million
NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race$10 million
Coca-Cola 600$8.9 million
YellaWood 500$8.3 million
Bristol Dirt Race$8.3 million
Xfinity 500$8.1 million
Southern 500$7.8 million
Toyota/Save Mart 350$7.6 million
Quaker State 400$7 million
Enjoy Illinois 300$7 million

NASCAR’s more popular races will always enjoy higher payouts. There are several myths that the larger the track the higher the purse, yet the Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte), which takes place at an intermediate oval, is higher than the YellaWood 500 (Talladega). The Bristol Dirt Race also takes place at a short track yet is in the middle of the purse pile.

NASCAR Race With Highest Prize Money

The Daytona 500 is the race on the NASCAR circuit with the highest prize money. Dubbed the Super Bowl of NASCAR by many, the 500 routinely draws crowds of over 100,000, and tickets are in such high demand that they normally sell for $145 at a minimum. 

With so much ticket revenue, merchandise sales and concessions will organically rise and contribute to the overall prize. The Great American Race also draws in millions of TV viewers all over the world, which drives up ratings and brings more money to the event. Corporate sponsorship is also a big reason the Daytona 500 brings in the most prize money year after year. 

If companies can attain such sponsorship in NASCAR, they will vastly increase their exposure. This means they are willing to pay more for a front-and-center placement, given the expected sound return on their investment. These factors directly contribute to the Daytona 500 bringing in more money overall, and therefore offering more prize money than any other event on the 36-race schedule. 

Where Does NASCAR Prize Money Come From?

Ticket Sales

Ticket sales will factor into the prize money more than anything else. Most professional sporting events are not cheap to enter, and NASCAR Cup Series events are no exception. While the price of NASCAR tickets varies depending on the venue and event, even tickets for less prestigious events like the Spring Las Vegas race can run at $80 for the cheapest seats. 

By contrast, tickets for the Daytona 500 often run at lows of $145, and they can sell out faster with a capacity of over 100,000 spectators, leading to a larger purse overall for the winning team. As you can see, tickets alone will comprise a massive portion of the prize money, especially at the more prestigious events with high demand for tickets. 


You may also notice that nearly every NASCAR race has a corporate name attached to it. This corporate sponsor and associate sponsors whose names are scattered about the track will also contribute to the prize money. Take the Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte) or the Coke Zero 400 (Daytona) – for as long as Coca-Cola sponsors the race they will funnel money into the purse. 

Concessions & Merchandise

A smaller portion of the purse will come from concessions and merchandise. Just as NASCAR is quiet on how much money is handed out to teams based on the new chartered system, they are just as quiet on how much they receive from these two revenue streams.

With merchandising, NASCAR will partner with a company, like Fanatics, and they will each receive a share of the profits made from a driver’s merchandise while the driver also gets a share. As for concessions, the profits will be split between NASCAR and any vendors working the concessions.

TV Deals

Finally, we have TV deals. NASCAR will take a cut of the contract’s value and some of the money will go into the purse for the events

NASCAR will use all of this money to put on the race, and that requires getting the track ready to race, moving equipment to the track, paying for all the utilities necessary to run the race, and to pay all of the employees involved in the setup, running of the race, and teardown of everything afterwards

How Much Prize Money Do NASCAR Drivers Keep?

How much prize money NASCAR drivers keep is unknown as NASCAR doesn’t release any figures nor do the teams. Since NASCAR only gives out the number of the overall cash prize, like $8.1 million at Martinsville and $10 million at Phoenix, there is no way of knowing how much the drivers keep. 

Instead, it would all be written in each driver’s unique contract, and since these contracts, unlike many contracts in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, are not public, nor are their key agreement terms, there is no way of knowing how much prize money the drivers keep, something that differs from the past. 

In the pre-2016 era, finding out race winnings was a relatively easy task, as they were often listed beside the driver’s name online. Before the event started, they often announced the overall purse, and sometimes even the purse for the winning driver, but that practice ended with the charter system.

NASCAR Cup vs Xfinity vs Truck Series Prize Money

As you may have guessed, the NASCAR Cup Series races will always dish out the highest amount of prize money, while the Xfinity and Truck Series races will offer significantly lower purses. For example, take the 2022 Fall Martinsville event, which handed out $8.1 million to the Cup Series, while just $1.4 million went to the Xfinity Series

The Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 had a payout of $8.9 million, while just $1.3 million went to the Xfinity Series, and the Truck Series saw a prize purse of just $676,100. 

The Xfinity Series, on average, pays out around 15% of what you see in the Cup Series. The Truck Series gets an even smaller amount, sometimes less than half of what you see the Xfinity Series receive, or about 7-8% of what the Cup Series purses look like.

Why The Discrepancy?

The Truck Series is essentially the minor league to the Cup Series’ minor league, which is the Xfinity Series. If you compare the three series to professional hockey, you would equate the Cup Series to the NHL, the Xfinity to the AHL, and the Truck Series to the ECHL. 

Like the ECHL, the Truck Series does not have the same backing because the drivers are not the best in the world of stock car racing. Therefore, they will draw smaller crowds, which leads to smaller prize pools.

With smaller crowds come smaller opportunities for merchandise sales, concessions, and lower television ratings. They still have corporate sponsors, which will comprise a larger sum of the overall purse, but not even a fraction of what you see in the Cup Series

The Xfinity races see similar results. When you take one look at the grandstands during any race, you will notice sparse crowds in the stands. However, with up-and-coming names in the Xfinity Series, they will draw more crowds, concessions, sales, TV ratings, corporate sponsors, and money, which leads to higher overall payouts.  

Final Thoughts

The amount of money that NASCAR drivers receive is unclear as NASCAR hasn’t released figures to the public since the chartered system began in 2016. We do know the total prize funds at select races, and that the Cup Series brings in more money overall than what you see in the lower divisions.