Top drives, yes. But look at (shit I cant remember his name, was racing for Grand AM, and doing the occasional open wheel testing), he’s in Nascar now, at a bottom tier team, has qual’d for 3 races. His salary not including endorsements is $692,000. That’s someone who is more than often in the bottom 8 that dont even get to race. Sure, no one is pulling the $40 Mill before endorsements like Kimi, or the reported 110million Lewis is getting, but you dont see as many guys dishing out millions to drive either (like in F1 or buying licenses in Indy or Cart).
god I would love to see REAL racing being popular in Europe
I was reading an issue Heritage Classics (GRM’s sister magazine) earlier and there was a quote from a builder when the Sunbeam Tiger first came out, talking about the efforts put into racing because “everyone knows racing sells cars.”
You didn’t really think they’re doing it for the “challenge” did you? :bloated: I’m not saying NASCAR is easy by any means, but that whole “challenge” thing makes me laugh. That’s driver speak for “They’ll pay me what I want to drive their car, and I can’t get that kind of money driving what I really would like so I couldn’t say no”. You take money out of the equation, and NASCAR would be at the bottom of the list for most drivers with any sort of skill. You think if the IRL could offer Dario the paycheck NASCAR could, he would be leaving?
Successful F1 drivers make more money because it’s a true WORLDWIDE sport that has way more marketing pull everywhere not called the United States. I guarantee you if Francitti was offered a competitive ride in F1 and Nascar at the same time, he’d take the F1 gig without blinking.
The NASCAR circuit is relatively stable and travel isn’t nearly as strenuous. If you live in North America and want to make money racing, NASCAR is pretty much your only option, and it’s a sad shame that things are this way. The other racing series only have themselves to blame for NASCAR’s dominance in marketing.
I don’t hate NASCAR, they worked hard to get to their spot in the limelight, but any driver with skill joining NASCAR for the “challenge” is just making a cash grab because either (a) They got forced out of a series that pays them way more money or (b) the series they really love to drive/compete in doesn’t pay enough money and/or they are paying out of pocket for their seat.
Money certainly plays a huge role in the equation, I’ll give you that. But, its not like Franchitti wasn’t get paid multi-millions in the IRL…
As far as travel goes…
IRL is a 16 race schedule
F1 is a 17 race schedule
NASCAR is a 37 race schedule
Although it is within the USA, NASCAR travel is DEFINITELY more strenuous.
I am definitely NOT saying that NASCAR drivers are the most talented ever, in fact I personally think F1 drivers are, but for those that say “anyone can turn left, win races, and make millions” is simply ridiculous.
But NASCAR will pay him MORE multi-millions, plus his sponsorship opportunities will grow exponentially in NASCAR. thus the potential to make WAY MORE MONEY than IRL could ever give him. Unless he has a sex change and looks hotter than Danica, it wasn’t going to happen in the IRL. It’s still about the money.
Hell no. Any Nascar venue is a 3 to 4 hour flight on your private jet/helicopter/plane. F1 you are travelling 3x that time for the non-european venues, and the swing of time-zones is more extreme and not even remotely accounted for. There is no way you can say NASCAR has a more strenuous travel schedule, even if they do twice the number of races. Plus NASCAR boys don’t have to go through customs on EVERY TRIP.
I have a good friend I went to school with that was an engineer on a Champ Car Team as well as a NASCAR team, and is now a mechanic in F1. He always moans about travelling for F1 being a royal pain. He never minded it much when he was stateside.
That is ridiculous. You definitely have to have some talent to drive in NASCAR. No arguments on that here. You’re average Joe and even your average amateur isn’t going to walk off the street and just shine at turning left. That being said, the mass move of open-wheelers to NASCAR is not predicated on “challenge”. It’s strictly money. The day open -wheel racing ever gets their collective heads out of their asses and/or road racing starts to gain momentum and sponsorship dollars, the migration will stop and reverse.
The other plus NASCAR has going for it is that they also control GRand Am Cup racing, so it’s a nice carrot for the open-wheel/ road race guys because they can still dabble in what they really love by entering in one off races and the 24Hr of Daytona since most cup teams have a GRand Am team and/or most Grand Am teams would love the buzz of a NASCAR driver in their car because NASCAR is where all the sponsorship money is as far as racing is concerned.
Race car drivers want to make a living driving race cars. The only way to do this is get paid. The only series that pays substantially is NASCAR. IRL only pays if you are a big name on a big team. Everyone else is brining money/sponsorship with them to pay for their seat. Same in Champ car, same in ALMS, same in GRand Am, hell, same to an extent with AMA motorcycle racing. Drivers will go where the money is because they would rather just drive than have to worry about soliciting sponsors to help them pay for their careers.