Record Total Awards Exceed $40M for 1999

TOTAL AWARDS TO EXCEED $40 MILLION IN NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES IN 1999 GLENDORA, Calif. -- The NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series will offer over $40 million in total awards during 1999, thanks to a $1,039,000 purse increase...

TOTAL AWARDS TO EXCEED $40 MILLION IN NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES IN 1999 GLENDORA, Calif. -- The NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series will offer over $40 million in total awards during 1999, thanks to a $1,039,000 purse increase announced by National Hot Rod Association officials Jan. 15. The increase is the largest absolute dollar increase in national event purses in NHRA history. The significant purse increase expands the total NHRA national event purse payout to over $14 million. Series sponsor Winston provides more than $2 million per year through its Winston championship points fund and Winston Top 10 program. Lucrative NHRA professional category bonus events coupled with other awards and programs increases the total cash available in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series to over $18 million. An additional $22 million in contingency awards is available to professional category racers through NHRA's contingency awards program, bringing the overall national event series awards total to exceed $40 million. "Racers clearly are one of our most important customers, along with our racetracks, sponsors and fans," said Tom Compton, NHRA executive vice president and general manager. "We understand how important well-financed race teams are to keeping NHRA Winston Drag Racing competitive and entertaining. I am very pleased to announce a purse increase of this magnitude." A large percentage of the record increase will be added to purses in Top Fuel and Funny Car categories. Nearly all of the increase is aimed a first- and second-round finishers and non-qualifiers. "Based on discussions with racers at all levels, it was apparent to us that a significant increase was necessary," Compton said. "It was important to target the increase at those for whom prize money plays a vital role in their operating budget, and, quite frankly, their overall viability."

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