NASCAR will cut the purses for the Nationwide Series by 20 percent next season, a move designed to make hosting the second-tier series a more profitable proposition for race tracks.
It’s the second consecutive year the purse will be reduced in Nationwide. NASCAR also cut the purses in the premiere Sprint Cup Series before this season.
“The health and maintenance of the tracks is essential to the health of the entire industry,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston told the Associated Press. “Like in all facets of our business, we have made financial adjustments to ensure the long-term strength of the sport.”
The Nationwide Series has run a 35-race schedule since 2005, but NASCAR has announced only 34 dates for next year. Going forward, the sanctioning body needs to ensure that track operators don’t lose money hosting the Nationwide Series.
Jeff Gordon hasn’t been to Victory Lane this year, yet he won’t bemoan his winless streak if he’s holding the Sprint Cup championship trophy at the end of the season.
“I’ll be fine winning the championship without winning a single race, . I’ll take pride in it, absolutely. You win it however you win it, you know?” said Gordon, who has a career-worst 53-race losing streak.
Half of the drivers ranked in the top 12 are winless this season, while defending four-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin lead the series with five victories each.
Nobody wants to step into the role of favorite for this year’s title.
Kevin Harvick, with three victories this season, has been the Sprint Cup Series points leader since May and is proving to be a contender each week down the stretch.
But Jimmie Johnson is still the driver to beat, Harvick said.
Harvick said. “No matter how good somebody runs, I still think that those guys are the ones to beat just for the fact that they have won it the last four years being in a somewhat similar situation,” Harvick said.