NASCAR trickle-down economics mean less for Sprint Cup champion

Revenue sharing with teams means less in points fund and a smaller check for the driver who wins Sprint Cup title on Sunday.

Die-hard NASCAR fans have noticed something different this year when trying to figure out how much their favorite driver made in a particular race. The dollar figures are gone from the results.

The sanctioning body has come up with a convoluted system of payouts and it all has to do with a new system that spreads out funds to teams and drivers who were granted charter status. It was a deal between NASCAR and the owner’s Race Team Alliance (RTA) and what it all means is that the man who wins the Sprint Cup championship will get a check that will be less than previous years.

According to a report at Yahoo! Sports, It is quite possible that the payout this year could be much less than Kyle Busch made a year ago

“If you look at the formula, there’s a whole formula involved,” Busch said of the new payment structure. “It’s quite confusing. So I’m not exactly sure if I’ll make 100 percent of what I made last year or 80 percent or something within there. I don’t know exactly.”

His percentage assessment is based off his 2015 figure, but his payout was lower because he missed a number of races.

The difference could be thought of as a pay cut although the champion will still receive between $1.5 million and $2 million. Compared to the estimated $5.2M Jimmie Johnson took home in 2-13, the charter system has directly affected the end of season payout.

“When you’re the driver and not the owner and you’re taking home a percentage of that, that hurts you really bad,” Busch added. “It was done through the RTA. It wasn’t done through the driver council. So we had absolutely no say in it so that’s why it’s the way that it is.”

Why NASCAR stopped publishing dollar figures are part of the confidentiality agreement with the RTA, according to the report.

This article originally appeared on