NASCAR is a corporation dating back to the late '40s, providing countless hours of entertainment to people the world over. For decades, fans have emphatically supported their favorite drivers and teams, coming in droves to different speedways across the country to witness the power and speed of some of the most skilled drivers ever to step behind the wheel.
Though many famous NASCAR legends have recently retired, there exist some new and fresh faces that are willing to take on their legacies. Forbes reported this year that salaries for drivers are sinking lower as NASCAR viewership has slightly declined, but many drivers still have salaries and partnerships that make them millions every year.
Keep scrolling to find out who is making serious bank in the 2019 NASCAR season. You might be surprised who you recognize from seasons past!
10 Clint Bowyer - $7.3 million
Clint Bowyer is the tenth highest paid NASCAR driver despite having a long winless streak in the middle section of his career. The streak was broken in 2018 with his victory at the 2018 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Previously he was the 2008 Nationwide Series champion, driving for Richard Childress Racing.
Currently competing in the Monster Energy Cup Series in the number 14 vehicle for Stewart-Haas Racing, Bowyer maintains partnerships with Rush Truck Centers, Peak Auto, DeKalb Corn, Mobil, and Cummins, along with others.
9 Martin Truex, Jr. - $8.2 million
Martin Truex, Jr. drives full-time in the Monster Energy Cup Series and was the champion of that series in 2017. He is also a two-time Xfinity Series champion, taking home the honor in 2004 and 2005.
Truex has driven for a multitude of companies, including that of Earnhardt-Ganassi, Michael Waltrip, Furniture Row, and more recently, Joe Gibbs Racing, with whom he started this year. Around $900,000 of his money earned comes from partnerships and deals with Bass Pro Shops, Auto-Owners Insurance, Oakley, Textron, and Garmin.
8 Kyle Larson - $9 million
Kyle Larson was named 2013 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and 2014 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and has continued to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Monster Energy Cup Series.
Though he, unfortunately, lost his primary sponsor DC Solar after the FBI raided its headquarters in 2018, he maintains a number of partnerships that total around $1 million, including deals with CreditOne Bank, McDonald's, FirstData, Coca-Cola, and Cessna. The other $8 million is earned through his salary and winnings. While Larson's net worth was estimated to be around $13 million at the beginning of the year, this has likely increased after a strong season.
7 Chase Elliott - $9.5 million
The first rookie driver to win a Nationwide Series championship in NASCAR's history, Chase Elliott has certainly made a name for himself in the few years of his career. The 23-year-old has recently been propelled into the top earners in NASCAR after signing with Hendrick Motorsports, who bolstered his salary.
Besides having the biggest licensed merchandise sales of 2018, Elliot has also earned around $2 million through endorsements with NAPA, Mountain Dew, Hooters, and Chevrolet, among other companies.
6 Brad Keselowski - $10.4 million
Brad Keselowski is the second of four drivers to win a championship in both the Cup and Xfinity Series. Currently, he competes full-time as part of the Monster Energy Cup Series. In addition to his career in racing, he owns Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing, which specializes in metal technologies.
He is endorsed by companies like Discount Tire, Miller Lite, Auto Trader, and Alliance Truck Parts. Keselowski's partnerships bring in around $1.2 million a year, with the rest coming from his salary and winnings.
5 Joey Logano - $11 million
Joey Logano is the youngest driver to win a Nationwide Series race, a feat that he accomplished at the age of 18 in 2008. He is also the second-youngest Daytona 500 winner and currently holds many age-related NASCAR records.
The 29-year-old Logano is the reigning Monster Energy Series Champion and makes around $1.4 million a year on sponsorships alone. Logano currently maintains partnerships with Coca-Cola. Pennzoil, Shell, Ford Motors, and Triple AAA, among others.
4 Kevin Harvick - $13.1 million
The driver with the third-most wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Kevin Harvick has repeatedly proven himself in both capability and skill in the sport. He pulls in a little over $13 million as of 2019, with $11.6 million coming from salary and $1.5 million from sponsorships.
Harvick has many longtime partnerships, including that with Busch, Jimmy John's, and Mobil. As of 2019, Harvick boasts 16 sponsors and competes full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Series.
3 Denny Hamlin - $14.2 million
Denny Hamlin started off his 2019 NASCAR season by capturing his second Daytona 500 win in a three-year span. Though his 2018 season didn't turn out as planned, it seems that the fresh start has jump-started his earning potential for 2019!
Hamlin has raked in $12.7 million in salary and winnings, along with around $1.5 million for his vehicle sponsorship and personal deals with Coca-Cola and Nike. Unlike many racers, Hamlin has only one sponsorship on his car with FedEx, who has been with Joe Gibbs Racing since 2005.
2 Kyle Busch - $15.8 million
Kyle Busch has long been a mainstay in the NASCAR world, winning his landmark 200th race this year. He took home the 2015 Sprint Cup and hold many records across various NASCAR series. Considering his year so far, it is safe to assume Busch will remain a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.
Busch has many partnerships, including those with candy giants M&M, Skittles, and Snickers, which are all produced and distributed by factions of Mars, Inc. Busch also partners with Toyota and Pedigree, and his endorsements total around $2 million.
1 Jimmie Johnson - $17.5 million
Though Jimmie Johnson is the most-paid driver of 2019 so far, unfortunately, he has not been in the Winner's Circle since 2017. The bulk of his earnings come from racing winnings and salary, though he does have a $3.5 million total from sponsorship and deals.
Johnson's primary sponsor used to be Lowe's Home Improvement, which stayed with the Number 48 vehicle until last year. He is now sponsored by Ally Financial and Hendrick Motorsports through 2020.