Having been involved in Dirt Late Models for the last 30 yrs, I will give you part of the difference in the sports. Late Models, sprints, midgets, etc. race for money; when I would look at an event it had nothing to do with how much ‘track time’ I would get- in fact sometimes just the opposite (cost money to run laps, less laps for more money was always a win). Although I do not drive them for a living, I did expect to come close to a ‘break even’ proposition when I owned my own equipment.
Getting back into karting (with my daughter) was eye opening. I truly think it is some of the best competition and thoroughly enjoy the time on the track, however it has been hard to manage the mindset. I wish there was a way to help ‘manage’ the cost with purse money, however that not only seems unlike but is probably not in the best interest of the kids- who the sport needs to be aimed toward.
In short, work with your local venue to produce the most cost effective, family fun you can. Run with them when you can and realize that it is a stepping stone (not below other forms, just not ‘profitable’ for most). Support those that give you the most ‘bang for your buck’.