Much of NASCAR’s finances are shrouded in mystery. This is not the case for the All-Star Race.
The prize money of the event is the biggest motivation for the competition. It will be the thing drivers will be vying for when they head to Texas Motor Speedway to compete in this year’s iteration of the race.
Well, that and bragging rights.
Sporting News has told you how much a winning driver earns for winning the All-Star race, along with a list of past winners of the competition.
How much money does a driver get for winning the All-Star Race?
Prize money: $1 million
The winner of the NASCAR All-Star Race receives a cash prize of $1 million. Racer teams also participate in a pit stop challenge, which can earn them $100,000.
It was a prize first introduced in the 2003 All-Star Race, which was the last to be sponsored by Winston.
In 2003, this prize money was quite significant. Jimmie Johnson, the winner of the 2003 All-Star Race, earned more than $7.7 million this season, the second highest in Cup Series earnings this year behind champion Matt Kenseth.
That million dollars earned during the All-Star run accounted for about 13% of Johnson’s total earnings in 2003.
Fast forward to today, and the race has waned in popularity. Prize money is more of a footnote than anything at present, as it pales in comparison to the race earnings that drivers earn over the course of the season.
In 2015 (the last year NASCAR made team earnings available), Kevin Harvick earned a series-leading $11.7 million. Still, the All-Star race prize remained the same. Hmm.
All-star race winners technically lose money year after year. Let me explain to you.
The cash prize offered to runners has been set at $1 million since 2003. However, Jimmie Johnson’s 2003 All-Star race winnings are actually worth $1.57 million in today’s market, according to Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports.
Sunday night will be the 20th NASCAR All-Star Race with a $1 million prize for the winner.
Jimmie Johnson won the 2003 All-Star Race for the first million dollars. Given that NASCAR has kept that money stagnant for nearly 20 years, what Johnson earned in 2003 today equates to $1.57 million.
—Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) May 20, 2022
The value of the American has depreciated over time. Yet the actual turnover remains the same. So the runners are unable to stretch that million dollars as much as they could in 2003.
It seems NASCAR executives don’t have a great understanding of economics.
And the lack of interest in the competition was evident to many. This is one of dozens of different formats that have been used to generate interest in the All-Star race. It’s a sign of a dying fanbase.
Maybe NASCAR should change the cash prize it offers rather than how the race is run. Give drivers and their teams bigger payouts for winning the competition. Or, as Bromberg suggested in a 2017 post, simultaneously offer a $1 million cash prize to fans.
List of past All-Star Race winners
|1985||11||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates||Chevy|
|1986||9||Bill Elliot||Meling Racing||Ford|
|1987||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevy|
|1988||11||Terry Labonte||Junior Johnson & Associates (2)||Chevy|
|1989||27||Rusty Wallace||Blue Max Racing||Pontiac|
|1990||3||Dale Earnhardt (2)||Richard Childress Racing (2)||Chevy|
|1991||28||Davey Allison||Robert Yates Race||Ford|
|1992||28||David Allison (2)||Robert Yates Racing (2)||Ford|
|1993||3||Dale Earnhardt (3)||Richard Childress Racing (3)||Chevy|
|1994||7||Geoffroy Bodine||Geoff Bodine Racing||Ford|
|1995||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevy|
|1996||21||Michael Waltrip||Race of the Wood Brothers||Ford|
|1997||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports (2)||Chevy|
Roush Fenway Racing
|1999||5||Terry Labonte (2)||Hendrick Motorsports (3)||Chevy|
|2000||8||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Dale Earnhardt Inc.||Chevy|
|2001||24||Jeff Gordon (3)||Hendrick Motorsports (4)||Chevy|
|2002||12||Ryan Newman||Penske Racing||Ford|
|2003||48||jimmy johnson||Hendrick Motorsports (5)||Chevy|
|2004||17||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing (2)||Ford|
|2005||6||Mark Martin (2)||Roush Fenway Racing (3)||Ford|
|2006||48||jimmy johnson||Hendrick Motorsports (6)||Chevy|
|2007||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing (4)||Chevy|
|2008||9||Kasey Kahne||Gillett Evernham Motorsports||To dodge|
|2009||14||Tony Stuart||Stewart Haas Racing||Chevy|
|2010||2||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing (2)||To dodge|
|2011||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing (4)||Ford|
|2012||48||Jimmy Johnson (3)||Hendrick Motorsports (7)||Chevy|
|2013||48||Jimmy Johnson (4)||Hendrick Motorsports (8)||Chevy|
|2014||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing (1)||Chevy|
|2015||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Race||Toyota|
|2016||22||Joey Logan||Team Penske (3)||Ford|
|2017||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing (2)||Toyota|
|2018||4||Kevin Harvick (2)||Stewart Haas Racing (2)||Ford|
|2019||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing (2)||Chevy|
|2020||9||Chase Elliot||Hendrick Motorsports (9)||Chevy|
|2021||5||Kyle Larson (2)||Hendrick Motorsports (10)||Chevy|