How To Make Money Racing-April’99

Believe it or not, you are not limited to only “spending” money when it comes to racing your quad. You can “make” some too. There is money for the pro class riders and products for amateurs who can show the results to earn it. Almost every racer has, at one time or another, placed high enough to entitle them to something other than another plastic trophy. While trophies might look good on the mantle, they do little in helping you get to the next race.


The AMA (American Motorcycle Association) is one of the main organizations supporting both amateur and professional ATV racing. They have both Cross-Country, Motocross, TT, and hillclimb National championships for quad classes throughout the country. In their Competition rule book on page 50-R, chapter 1, it states that, “Amateur riders are motorcycle/ATV riders not competing for cash awards”. For all you non-professional riders out there, and all of you that wish to remain so, you can’t receive any “cash” for racing any ATV event.
However, this doesn?t mean you can?t get “other” compensation, such as bonus bucks to exchange for products at your local dealer. If you want to retain your amateur ranking then make sure any “awards” are not in cash. This was a bit of a problem at the Loretta Lynn finals last year when several B class riders had received money (even though it was at another “outlaw” organization?s race). So be careful. Once you?ve accepted cash, you are no longer an Amateur in the AMA?s eyes.
The following charts list all the different companies offering contingency money or products for professionals and amateurs alike. We?ve also included a schedule of the GNC MX/TT and Cross-Country National series. Some of the awards also go to point champions. This is by no means all the series offering racers a chance to win money or prizes.
One of the best ways to find out about any ATV racing series is to check out the major national cycle papers, such as Cycle News, for advertisements about races in your neck of the woods. Drop in at your local shop and see what type of events they know about or are pinned up on the bulletin board. A little investigation goes a long way in determining what races will make it worth your while to attend.


We spoke with two top ATV promoters, John Pellan and George Davis of Fast-Trak Promotions, about how to get sponsors to notice you and help pay your expenses. You might remember that John and George promoted one of the highest money-paying purses in AMA GNC history?the ’98 Deerfield, Ohio, TT race.

“Don?t ride over your head, no matter how big the pro purse is. Keep your 4-wheeler in tip-top shape; DNF?s=zero dollars. You should always be clean and professional at the races. Check out the Duncan Racing team some time?they set the example for what a professional appearance at the track should be.

“Don?t accept support from more than one mail order company. It?s a conflict of interest. Show that you support the sponsors that are supporting you. If someone is helping with products and has a visible presence at the track, then you should go out of your way to buy from them, instead of someone who is not putting anything into the sport. By supporting them you are actually helping yourself. Who knows, you could be their next rider.

“Try teaming up and splitting travel expenses with local riders in your area to get to the races. Perhaps you can share the same sponsors for your team. Two heads are better than one. Work together, have fun, and accomplish more.
“To really make money racing you should present yourself in the most professional manner possible at all times. There?s a lot more to being a professional than just achievements on the track. You are a spokesman. Market yourself and the companies that support you. Take every opportunity to increase the public?s awareness of you, your sponsors and the sport of ATV racing in general. “l


One of the golden rules of racing is that you had better have the right decal, in the right place, at the right time, or you can forget getting any contingency bucks or awards.
Almost every contingency sponsor requires that you show his decal in a highly “visible” location on your machine to receive compensation. Generally this is somewhere on the quad that can be seen while the rider is on the vehicle. Proper decal placement can cost you. Make sure they?re large and visible. Check out the magazines and see how the top pros decal their machines. Using the right product but failing to put the right sticker on your quad could cost you!

You might also need to fill out a registration form at sign-up or before the race with the individual companies offering the contingencies. Of course, you must actually “use” the product as well. Believe it or not, some companies are sticklers about this last one!

Make sure you list all of your sponsors on any entry forms, with the sponsor contributing the most listed first and so forth. Know what events your sponsors will pay for and how far down they will pay before you sign up.

With a little careful forethought, you can make sure that you are entitled to your fair share of the awards. Don?t end up getting rejected because you didn?t follow the sponsors instructions or lacked the right decal. Make them SHOW YOU THE MONEY!

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