NASCAR ANNOUNCES POINT FUND AWARDS FOR NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES * Dodge offers bonus bucks for Dodge drivers * NASCAR Divisional champions each receive $25,000 * Nearly 1,400 more drivers to share in NASCAR awards DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.
NASCAR ANNOUNCES POINT FUND AWARDS FOR NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES
* Dodge offers bonus bucks for Dodge drivers
* NASCAR Divisional champions each receive $25,000
* Nearly 1,400 more drivers to share in NASCAR awards
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 5, 2005) -- The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, NASCAR's championship program for weekly short track competitors, was founded in 1982 and is getting a radical makeover in 2005. Drivers at participating race tracks will once again compete for NASCAR's national championship and their share of nearly $1.7 million in post-season prize money -- but with a few new twists.
Gone is the NASCAR Competition Performance Index (CPI), which determined a ranking of drivers based on wins, top-five finishes and other factors. In the past, the driver with the highest rating in the CPI index won one of eight regional championships and had a chance to win the national championship, which was also determined by the index.
Beginning in 2005, drivers in the top NASCAR-sanctioned class at each track will earn NASCAR divisional championship points at each event they participate in. The driver with the highest NASCAR divisional championship point total, based on their 16 best finishes of the season, will win a championship in one of NASCAR's four newly-designated divisions: Division I, Division II, Division III or Division IV. Each division includes a collection of 17 or 18 tracks, assigned at random. The divisional champion with the highest divisional point total overall wins the national title.
Drivers can also win track championships, based on the point standings for each individual race track, as well as special awards from Dodge, POWERade and other sponsors.
The divisional standings are based on events held between Jan. 1 and Sept. 18, 2005.
NASCAR, Dodge and other sponsors combine to post nearly $1.7 million in prize money, which will be distributed to competitors at the end of the season.
* Dodge Continues Driver Awards ... Drive a Dodge race car? You could collect additional bonus money from the series sponsor. Dodge has continued its awards program for Dodge drivers -- those whose cars are outfitted with Dodge motors and bodies for the entire season. Any Dodge driver (in the track's top class) who wins a feature race during the 2005 season can collect a $100 bonus for each win. In addition, the top-finishing Dodge driver in each of NASCAR's four divisions can collect $3,000 while the national champion can receive an additional $25,000 if they drive a Dodge car.
In 2003, Mark McFarland, of Winchester, Va., became the first driver to collect this national championship bonus from Dodge and collected a series-record $213,500 in post-season prize money. McFarland collected this record amount after winning the title in a Dodge Intrepid Late Model at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, Va.
A driver does not necessarily need to win a Division championship to collect the $3,000 Dodge bonus, as the award goes to the highest-finishing Dodge in the Division standings. However, any Dodge driver who does win a Division championship will get a chance to participate in a "test and tune" session with one of the Dodge-sponsored NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams.
* Divisional leaders share top prizes ... The top 17 (or 18) drivers in each division will share nearly $144,000 in prize money at the end of the season. Each divisional champion will collect $25,000 while the second place driver wins $15,000. Third-place wins $12,500, fourth-place wins $12,000 and fifth place wins $11,000. The driver with the highest NASCAR point total at each track will be eligible for the top 17 (or 18) divisional awards. Each track will have one representative among the divisional leaders, so the number of drivers that share in this prize money depends on the number of tracks in the division. Combined among the four divisions, the divisional leaders will share nearly $580,000.
* National championship bonus ... In addition to the divisional prize money and any awards collected at their home race track, the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national champion (the divisional champion with the highest point total overall) will receive a $50,000 bonus.
* POWERade rewards top track finishers ... While the driver with the highest NASCAR point total at each track is assured a share of the divisional prize money, the top 10 drivers in the track point standings (in each track's top class), will share $2,500 in prize money from POWERade, the official sports beverage of NASCAR. Each track champion will win a commemorative track champion's helmet. The second-place driver at each track will collect $1,000, the third-place driver wins $500, fourth-place $250 and the fifth place driver at each track wins $150. Drivers who finish 6th-10th in the track point standings will each win $100 from POWERade.
* More sponsor prize money up for grabs ... In addition to the divisional prize money and POWERade awards, the top 10 drivers (in the top class) at each track can win prize money from the 23 companies participating in NASCAR's contingency awards program -- those sponsors whose small decals are displayed on the front fenders of the race cars. If a driver displays all the decals -- including 3M, Accel, Bell, Centrix Financial, Clevite, Comp Cams, Craftsman, Earl's, Edelbrock, Goodyear or Hoosier Tires, Holley, Hurst, JE Pistons, Lincoln Electric, Lunati, Mechanix Wear, Mobil 1, Moroso, Sonic Racing Products, SunTrust, USG and Whelen -- they are eligible for the following bonus awards: $2,000 to the track champion, $1,500 for second-place, $950 for third place, $500 for fourth place, $400 for fifth-place and additional awards for drivers who finish 6th-10th in the track point standings.
* Support for support classes ... Drivers in "support" classes at each track, which include Street Stocks, Trucks, Limited Late Models and other styles of cars, will receive a greater share of the $1.7 million NASCAR awards than ever before. In the track's second-tier class, the top 10 drivers will share $3,000 in post-season prize money with $1,000 going to the track champion in that class. In the third-tier or "Charger" class, the top 10 drivers will share $2,000 including $500 to the track champion. Combined, the top 10 drivers in the second and third-tier classes at each NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series track will share nearly $350,000.
Under this new format, nearly 1,400 additional drivers -- who did not receive any NASCAR prize money in the past -- will share in the NASCAR awards program. Prior to 2005, the second-tier drivers were eligible for NASCAR's ShorTrack Division awards, which have been discontinued. ShorTrack Division awards did not include money to the top 10 in the track point standings, but were distributed to eight regional champions based on the old CPI index. In the third-tier or "Charger" division, the track champion was the only driver to receive any post-season prize money ($500) from NASCAR.
* Special Awards to Crew Chiefs, Car Owners and Mechanics ... Drivers aren't the only ones to share in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series awards. Craftsman, the official tools of NASCAR, sponsors the Craftsman Mechanic of the Year awards, which are distributed annually based on a vote among NASCAR members. Craftsman awards over $10,000 in prize money and products to the winners of this program. Lunati Cams recognizes the championship winning crew chiefs and awards over $15,000. Lincoln Electric provides a $5,000 bonus along with a Lincoln Electric welder to the national champion car owner.