How Much Does a Sprint Car Cost

How Much Does a Sprint Car Cost?

Last Updated on January 7, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Sprint car racing is an intense, high-speed form of motorsport with passionate fans and drivers. But what kind of costs are involved for someone looking to get into sprint racing?

Whether you want to drive or own a sprint car team, the expenses add up quickly. In this article, we’ll break down what it takes to go sprint car racing.

Key Takeaways on Sprint Car Costs

To summarize the most important points:

  • A sprint car costs $50,000 to $100,000+
  • Operational costs tally $100,000+ per season
  • Only top drivers earn a true salary
  • Most racers self-fund or spend more than they make
  • Corporate sponsorship is essential for funded teams
  • Considerable investment is required but provides exciting racing

How Much Does a Sprint Car Cost?

A brand new 410 winged sprint car costs approximately $75,000 to $90,000. That’s just for a basic ready-to-race car with no extras. Of course, many teams invest over $100,000 into top-tier chassis, components, and research and development.

For 360 sprints, a new car is $50,000 to $75,000. Even a used Sprint car can cost $30,000 to $50,000 depending on age and condition. These machines are precisely engineered for speed and durability, carrying a hefty price tag.

Sliplo.shop notes that on the upper end of the range, you can easily find a 360 non-winged sprint car for between $50,000 and $100,000, complete with everything needed. The engine is the most important aspect of a sprint race car and will cost significantly more than the chassis and body. Expect to pay at least $10,000 for the engine.

Other Websites With Spring Car Prices

Website Sprint Car Price Range
RacingJunk $10,000 – $30,000
Race-Cars.com $15,000 – $50,000
RacersSwapShop.com $12,000 – $40,000
Race-Dezert.com $20,000 – $60,000
RaceXR.com $18,000 – $45,000

Additional Gear for Getting Started

Beyond the sprint car itself, you need all the related gear:

  • Trailer – $8,000+ for a used sprint car trailer, $25,000+ for new
  • Truck – $40,000+ for a diesel tow vehicle
  • Tools – Several thousand for equipment and shop necessities
  • Safety – $2,000+ for quality racing suits, helmets, etc.
  • Spare parts – An inventory of backup components in case of breakage

As you can see, a basic truck, trailer, tools, and safety gear alone tallies $50,000+ before even counting the car.

An Overview of Sprint Race Cars

Sprint cars are small, lightweight, open-wheel race cars designed for oval dirt or asphalt tracks. Top sprint car series include the World of Outlaws (WoO) traveling series and regional tours like the All Stars Circuit of Champions.

The most common sprint cars are 410 cubic inch winged sprint cars. There are also 360 cubic inch sprint cars that produce less horsepower. Costs can vary between classes and teams, but any form of professional sprint racing requires major investment.

What Are the Costs to Operate a Sprint Car?

Running costs per race weekend easily tally several thousand for things like:

  • Entry fees – $100-$200 to enter each event
  • Fuel – $100+ per night for methanol fuel
  • Tires – $2,000+ per season for multiple tire sets
  • Engine rebuilds – $5,000+ to refresh engines every 10-20 nights
  • Crew – Top teams have 2-3 paid crew making $500-$1,000 weekly
  • Transportation – Thousands per year for truck, trailer, maintenance
  • Damages – Frequent sprint car wrecks mean big repair bills

Budget at least $2,500 per race weekend in typical operating costs. It adds up to $100,000+ easily over a long season.

You might also like our articles about the cost of an IndyCar, Nascar Race Car, or Top Fuel Dragster.

How Do Sprint Car Drivers Get Paid?

Unless you’re Tony Stewart racing for fun, how do you turn this expensive hobby into a paying job? Here are the primary sprint car driver income sources:

  • Salary – Top World of Outlaws drivers earn over $150,000 in base salary from their team owners. But most local racers pay for their own expenses.
  • Win bonuses$5,000+ for big sprint car tour wins, $1,000-$2,000 at local tracks. But wins are very hard to come by against tough competition.
  • Contingencies – Bonus payouts from manufacturers for using their parts. An extra $500 here and there from various sponsors.
  • Merchandise – Several thousand per year selling t-shirts, diecasts, etc. to loyal fans.

Even full-time salaried drivers need personal sponsorships and merchandise to make a true living. For most local sprint car racers, expenses far outweigh winnings as they fund it for the love of racing.

How Do Sprint Car Teams Get Funding?

Sprint Car in RaceProfessional sprint car teams get financing through:

  • Big-name driver – An ace driver like Donny Schatz attracts team funding through his talent and fanbase.
  • Corporate sponsors – Companies like Mesilla Valley Transportation back teams as branding.
  • Racing support – Manufacturers like Maxim Chassis give discounts for using their products.
  • Contingency sponsors – Dozens of brands offer payouts for winning while using their parts.
  • Out-of-pocket – Wealthy car owners sometimes self-fund as a hobby. But it’s very expensive!

Many World of Outlaws teams still rely partly on driver/owner personal funds despite outside sponsorship. At local levels, most teams are self-funded or driver-funded.

Is Sprint Car Racing a Cost-Effective Motorsport?

While incredibly expensive compared to an office job, sprint car racing offers a relatively affordable route into professional motorsport compared to options like NASCAR or IndyCar with budgets over $5 million.

On a per-event basis, sprint car racing provides thrilling action for both competitors and fans for a much lower cost than most motorsports. While not cheap, it’s economical compared to other forms of racing.

Final Words

Sprint car racing is a huge commitment financially. For racers with passion and some business savvy, it can become a self-funding job. But for most, the high costs are an investment in incredible racing thrills.

Alec Pow
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