Again, I'm not (yet?) participating. I've only watched one race and a tooooooooon of video online since finding Lemons.
My interpretation? Leave the "price cap" alone.
Technically, the $500 "buyout" covers the problem of "cheater" cars.
It should be enough of a threat that if you show up with an old Celica GT-S All-Trac that you'd plopped a nice low-miler JDM engine out of you can rest assured not only would it win the curse, but *someone* in the Judges stands should hand your team $500 faster than you can say "Where's the ATM!"
Frankly, the "Thrill of Winning" for Lemons is far, far less important it seems than the "Agony of Defeat!" at least as far as the audience is concerned.
If a team is afraid of winning the People's Curse, then they should probably think about *why* they showed up in the first place. Worried about that Spec Miata you snuck through tech? Why didn't you show up with an Airies K or an Escort GT instead? Hell, show up in a Chrysler TC by Maserati or a Cadillac Cimarron if you want to impress
Take that Miata out to an SCCA event where nobody will crush it and you can race against *other* Spec Miatas. That's what it's for anyway.
As far as the Teams are concerned, "Winning" should be determined by actually getting to the checkered flag. The team that actually "Wins" the race pretty much ought to be the "First Winner" while the half-dozen or so wrecks that crawl across the finish line STILL WIN. It's like the Special Olympics, only for cars.
Granted, their winning doesn't include a shit-ton of nickels that they now have to figure out what to do with..At least with quarters you can have drinking games....
Watching teams bash away at back-row-beauties trying to get just one more lap out of them was awesome. The guys that showed up with half-a car on the trailer, just so they could pull parts they might need at the track. The whole time I was walking around the pits I wanted to jump right in & help....I'm a sympathetic mechanic is my problem though.