It’s axiomatic that the way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a large one – the fact of the matter is that just like all those kids playing high school sports and dreaming of a career in the pros, very few racers will ever be able to make a living at it. Most of us race because it’s a passion, not a paycheck, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to ease the financial burden imposed by our hobby in any way we can.
When it comes to drag racing, one good way to do that is to take advantage of manufacturer and aftermarket “contingency” programs whenever possible. These are marketing plans that pay money back to racers who are successful and run specific parts in a particular racing series. For 2014, Chevrolet Performance is offering $300 to winners and $100 to runners-up who use their engine blocks and cylinder heads in certain classes of NHRA competition, and as much as $1,500 to winning COPO Camaro drivers.
In NMCA competition, the list of eligible parts is even broader, and racers can receive from $75-$300 depending on class and winner or runner-up status. While contingency money is never going to buy you a carbon-fiber toterhome with a solid-gold toilet seat, building your competition car wisely with parts from companies that show their appreciation for racers can substantially improve your bottom line.