With record motorsports purse this year, the DAYTONA 500 is clearly the race to win

If Michael McDowell should win a second DAYTONA 500 this year, he won’t know how much he’ll get from the record purse of $28,035,991 until the check arrives.

Suffice it to say that the winner’s share of the largest purse in motorsports history is enough to make a huge difference to McDowell and his Front Row Motorsports team.

McDowell, however, doesn’t plan to crunch the numbers before the race – he just knows it’s a lot.

“Obviously, it’s significant,” said McDowell, who scored his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in the 2021 edition of the Great American Race. “It’s the biggest race of the year for us and for the team from a payout standpoint. It does matter, especially for a team like us at Front Row. Winning the race and making the Playoffs, financially what that does for you, it sets up the next few years—not just that year.

“If you’re going to win a race, this is the one you want to win, as far as the financial part of it goes.”

With the advent of the charter system in the Cup Series, individual payouts are no longer published. In the last DAYTONA 500 where prize money was revealed, Joey Logano won $1,586,503 for his victory in 2015.

It would make sense to extrapolate a higher first-place figure from a record purse in excess of $28 million. That sort of sum can be transformational for a driver or team. 

“On the money side, it takes a lot of money to make this sport go around, and this race team,” said 2023 DAYTONA 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who drives the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG-Daugherty Racing. 

“My wife and I are redoing our bathroom and bedroom and now a nursery, and that would go a long way. So, it’s kind of already spent—I hope we win.”