BUSCH: Daytona: Season opener in the NASCAR spotlight

Big purse up for grabs at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2004) -- Competitors will be racing for the largest purse in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series when the green flag falls on the Feb. 14 Hershey's Kisses 300 ...

Big purse up for grabs at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2004) -- Competitors will be racing for the largest purse in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series when the green flag falls on the Feb. 14 Hershey's Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

Up for grabs will be a total of $2,197,278, nearly $200,000 more than the 2003 payout for Daytona's season opener. The 2003 purse of $2,000,387 was the first to reach the $2 million plateau for the NASCAR Busch Series. Depending on eligibility for various contingency awards, the winner of the 2004 Hershey's Kisses 300 stands to win as much as $102,110.

Two drivers to date -- Jeff Gordon in the 1992 fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway ($113,844) and Jeff Green at the 2001 Kansas Speedway event ($100,020) -- have won more than $100,000 in a single NASCAR Busch Series event. <pre> The rest of the top-five in single-race earnings:

Driver Track Year Total 3. Matt Kenseth Daytona 2000 $98,750 4. Todd Bodine Kentucky 2002 $98,370 5. Kasey Kahne Homestead 2003 $97,220 </pre> By comparison, Jack Ingram totaled $122,100 over the course of his entire 1982 championship season, the first year of what is now the NASCAR Busch Series.

Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marines Corps Ford) finished the 2003 campaign with a series-high four wins, and wound up fourth in the driver point standings. He's hoping for his fair share of the purse at Daytona.

"Daytona has always had a good purse for the NASCAR Busch Series," Hamilton Jr. said. "The money is always nice to have, but we want the trophy at the end of the day. However, that winner's purse buys a lot of toys."

Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO/Sport Clips Ford), who finished fourth in last year's event, is also looking forward to racing for the increased reward.

"We are appreciative of the increase in the purse as the ever-increasing cost of racing goes," Wallace said. "We, as a team, and me as a driver, appreciate NASCAR and the sponsor's efforts to enhance the purses."

-nascar-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Todd Bodine , Jeff Green , Mike Wallace , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Kasey Kahne