Racing for cash

Just after a bit of discussion on the topic of prize money in karting which seems to be a bit of a thing.
At club level here we dont as a rule race for with prize money on the table, but the bigger events mostly do, except somewhat amusingly our state titles, the biggest event of the year.

I have played other sports, and it was very rare to see prize money given to winners. Prizes, if given were usually sponsor type stuff, water bottles etc.

So why do we do it? I dont plan my racing with the idea that I’m going to get rewarded for winning, and it sucks money out of the clubs that need it.
I can’t work out how it would bring extra karters to an event, except for truely big purses.

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I’d even go as far to say its a US thing. In the UK there was some cash for national series winners but it is very limited and only of any note in the very top classes.

I don’t remember there being much at CIK events either. Certainly not Super nats levels of cash. Its fairly unusual in Europe for the promoter to own the distributorships for the engines and tires, which I imagine is where most of the prize money comes from. In the UK the national championship prizes were funded by tire contracts with the ASN (not the commercial entity that ran the championship on behalf the ASN).

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