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Tony Stewart’s Sprint Car Race With Record Million Dollar Purse Will Leave NASCAR Drivers Licking Their Chops

Published 12/15/2022, 5:15 AM EST
Race purses are a crucial part of a driver’s motivation to compete in an event; especially unsanctioned, non-NASCAR events. 2022 saw some rather major issues turn up because of the purse amount. Tony Stewart, however, tows a distinct line compared to other race organizers.
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Tony Stewart owns Eldora Speedway and is responsible for the organization of all events that take place at the race track. The Stewart-Haas Racing owner has been famous for recompensing drivers with huge amounts of money.
In another such move, the 3-time Cup Series winner announced bumper prize money for the Eldora Millions, to be held in July 2023. The event will have a winner’s purse of $1,002,023, with a total overall purse of $1.4 million.
More money for Eldora Million 2023
With the updated purse amount, Eldora Million 2023 is going to have the biggest purse in sprint car history. While Stewart is definitely due credit for it, he had help from FloSports – the official live-streaming partner for Eldora.
“All of us at Eldora are super excited to host the first million-dollar-to-win sprint car race,” said a beaming Stewart. “Back in 2003, Eldora hosted a non-wing race that paid $200,000 to winner Jac Haudenschild, but this will be the first time a sprint car driver will race for a winner’s check worth $1 million.”
He added, “This will showcase the best of the best, and you’re going to want to see how this race unfolds where in the final laps, with the guys still in the hunt running close together, what they will do to win a million dollars.”
With Kyle Larson’s recent disapproval of purse amounts at the Chili Bowl, Stewart’s decision is a great one for the benefit of racing.
Tony Stewart has a big heart – and a big wallet
Stewart purchased Eldora Speedway from its previous owner in 2004. Since then, he has introduced major overhauls to the racetrack’s event list. The biggest of those changes has been the prize winner’s checks amounts.
PHOENIX – NOVEMBER 5: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet, looks on before his qualifying run for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Checker Auto Parts 500 on November 5, 2004 at the Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Next year’s Eldora Millions is not the first event that has an enormous amount of money at stake. It is going to be the 17th sprint car event at the track that will pay the best driver at least six figures.
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Explaining his decision, Stewart said, “I think it’s been long overdue. We’ve had two, $1 million-to-win dirt late model races at Eldora, but to finally do it for the sprint car community is something that makes all of us at Eldora really proud.”
“Sprint car drivers put on some of the best shows in all of racing, and this is our way of saying thank you.”
Apart from its checks, Eldora Million differs from other sprint events in terms of its format as well. They divide drivers into groups for the preliminary rounds, with each group competing for a $12,000-to-win and $1,000-to-start event. In total, the preliminary round purse itself is worth more than $115,000.
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Next year’s event will create history. Hopefully, it creates a precedent for other events as well, and drivers start receiving amounts that they consider appropriate.

web-interns@dakdan.com

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