Cup overflows while other series run dry It's the ultimate irony: Big-budget Nextel Cup teams pack up and go home while the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series run races with less than full fields.
Welcome to equilibrium in action.
Are the entry list imbalances this weekend at California Speedway just a result of teams with tight budgets deciding to pass on a cross-country trip so close after Daytona -- or is it a sign of things to come?
Ask a dozen folks and you get a dozen answers, not all of them on the record. However, the one recurring theme is "money."
Busch owner Todd Braun said some financially strapped teams may be unwilling to spend more money than they can make.
"What's it pay to start, $23-24,000?" Braun said. "It cost me $10,000 to get the hauler from North Carolina here and back. My tire bill, if I've got to go but two sets of tires to practice and qualify on, is $3,200. I've got to fly out three or four guys to go through tech and put them up for a weekend, pay them a per diem. What's that going to cost me? Another five grand?"
Consider the purse for Friday's San Bernardino County 200. Only the top three finishers took home more than $20,000 in purse money -- and 34th place may not have covered the cost of the diesel fuel to haul the truck from North Carolina to California.
Still, some of the smaller Busch and Truck teams were willing to sacrifice short-term financial gain this weekend for the possibility of building enough owner points for a coveted guaranteed spot, long-term. More at NASCAR.com