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Racing costs how much?

By admin | June 19, 2008

By Steve Monday

Anyone involved in motorsports certainly knows racing is expensive. Engine components, drive train essentials, and race car fabrication require money, and a lot of it. Keep in mind that I am discussing the basic parts and pieces needed to build one race car. This doesn’t include an inventory of replacement parts and components or any of the ‘trick’ parts that can often determine who makes the show or who is on the Did Not Qualify list.

Additional funding is required to maintain any team members, transporter and, of course, higher fuel costs. All of these add up. Quickly.

A previous article, “NASCAR Racing is too expensive” pointed out how two prominent NASCAR Sprint Cup teams, Yates Racing and Petty Enterprises, are having difficulty acquiring funding.

This is nothing new. Race teams have faced funding issues before, but, with PepsiCo’s Amp Energy brand spending a reported $30 million annually to sponsor Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Aflac’s 2009 funding package said to be $26 million per year with Roush Fenway Racing‘s Carl Edwards, where will the stopping point be? Could it be that only the big teams with big personalities driving for them will get the funding racing now requires?

DuPont Chairman and CEO Chad Holliday has stated DuPont’s Return on Investment with their motorsports program is $3 for every $1 spent. If true, that is an extraordinary return during today’s economic environment. One wonders if Amp Energy and Aflac’s ROI will be anywhere close to that amount.

An important and all to often not considered side effect to the higher and higher costs hit closer to home. Local racers are impacted by higher costs as well. Unfortunately, most often do not have a sponsorship package to offset these ever increasing costs. Most of the local racers work full time, provide for their families, and somehow must still find a way to afford a race car.

It is a very difficult task. An old drag racing expression says, ‘Nitro takes as much money today as it did back then…. All you have.’ The same can said for any form of motorsports today as well.

Steve Monday is a guest blogger for

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