Denny Hamlin Wants NASCAR's Revenue To Be Redistributed, More Money For Drivers
NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin yesterday lobbied for the Monster Energy Cup Series' "revenue distribution model to be shifted," giving teams and drivers the "opportunity to make more money," according to Nate Ryan of NBCSPORTS.com. Hamlin believes the reliance on corporate sponsorship "should be 'bonus money,'" and that teams "should be able to survive on purse money." Under terms of a "consolidated national network TV era" that began in '01, tracks receive 65% of revenue from rights fees revenue, teams receive 25%, and NASCAR gets 10%. NASCAR in '15 "signed Fox and NBC in a 10-year deal" that has been estimated at more than $8B. Hamlin said, "The pie has to be shifted for sure. The TV dollars coming into NASCAR is higher than it’s ever been, but we’re seeing fewer and fewer teams, and it just can’t survive." Asked whether decreasing driver salaries was a way to address team financials, Hamlin replied, "You’ve got the wrong guy to ask me on that, because I think we’re way underpaid on that as race car drivers. That’s a fact. I think there’s no doubt doing what we do, the schedule we have, the danger we incur every single week, NASCAR drivers should be making NBA, NFL money. I really, truly believe that. But it can not come out of the owners’ pockets." He added, "I’m sure this will be in some headline somewhere. ... I’m basing it off all other sports. I’m not including myself. I’m including probably the back half of the field that those drivers are risking the same amount I am, and they should be paid a hell of a lot more." Ryan noted given that tracks "earn the largest percentage of the revenue distribution, it would seem they would be the likeliest target for Hamlin’s redistribution plan" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/4).
NO WORRIES HERE: NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France, asked what he would say to fans who are concerned about the financial future of the sport, said, "Look at history. There’s always cycles. Sometimes we have too many teams." Appearing yesterday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, France said, "Every sport has different cycles where it’s better than it was or less than it should be, whatever it is, that will work out. Our job is that if there is a way for us from a policy standpoint, as an example, getting the cost out of the system, that we are going to work, that’s where the charter agreements that we did a couple of years ago allow us to, get at those things. I wouldn’t worry about that for one minute if I were a fan because it just works itself out. We will make good decisions and the teams are working very closely with us to take any shortcomings out of the system and figure it out. I wouldn’t worry about that for a minute if I were a fan. I am a fan" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/4).