It takes a lot to make it to the top in NASCAR, but boy does it ever pay off when it happens! The earning potential of a professional NASCAR driver is absolutely limitless. In addition to the hefty pay-out from NASCAR, there are numerous endorsement deals that they are offered that can easily launch these drivers into the next level of success. NASCAR drivers really do have to adjust their entire lifestyle to accommodate their jobs, and there’s so much travel involved that they are practically always living out of a suitcase.
Every moment of their interactions both on and off the track is targeted by the media and many sacrifices have to be made to gain & retain success in this industry. Luckily for them, the payout is as significant as their sacrifices are. Let’s take a look at the 10 Richest NASCAR Drivers Of All Time…
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr ($400 Million)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a jaw-dropping net worth of $400 million. He is reported by ALT Driver as being not only one of the richest NASCAR drivers in history but also one of the wealthiest athletes of all time. In 2016 alone, Dale Jr. made $23.5 million in earnings, as a result of his salary and winnings combined. He’s a two-time Daytona 500 winner, a Monster Energy Series Cup Driver, and also a NASCAR race driver. Of course, merchandising and endorsements contributed to his wealth as well.
9 Danica Patrick ($60 Million)
Commonly referred to as the most successful female driver in NASCAR history, Danica Patrick is worth a whopping $60 million. She was the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, and has never been shy around the cameras.
She became a household name for her attitude while on-track, as much as she did for her driving capabilities and racing success. With a list of awards and accolades too lengthy to mention, Danica Patrick is the wealthiest female driver that NASCAR has ever seen.
8 Denny Hamlin ($45 Million)
Denny Hamlin receives a $15 million annual salary from Joe Gibbs Racing and already has a net worth of $45 million as it stands today. With his income continuing to soar, there seems to be no stopping him. His success on the track was foreshadowed by his childhood success on go-karts. He was the winner of many go-cart races and it quickly became evident that speed and cars were natural sources of interest.
7 Jeff Burton ($55 Million)
One of the most recognized and highly esteemed team members of Richard Childress Racing is Jeff Burton. He has won 21 cup series and has scored 21 career victories I the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
His success on the track was consistent and undeniable. However, it didn’t stop there. He went on to be a commentator for NBC Sports and is earning a second stream of income through that source.
6 Jeff Gordon ($200 Million)
Jeff Gordon is as famous for his financial wealth as he is for his on-track success as a leading NASCAR driver. The world took notice when he started to win race after race, and the rest, as they say, is history. Currently worth $200 million, Jeff continues to earn roughly $20 - $30 million every year through his salary and endorsements. Just when you thought he had it all, we have news that he has even more wealth behind him! Jeff also has an equity stake in his racing team. He retired in 2015 but has very much stayed current in the world of NASCAR.
5 Jimmie Johnson ($120 Million)
Jimmie Johnson is another wild success story from the NASCAR circuit. He has earned over $130 million in career winnings alone and is currently estimated to be worth just over $120 million. He certainly has earned it!
He is a seven-time champion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. That’s right – seven-time winner! That’s just one of his successful moments. He has obtained success both on and off the track, and is known to be among the top-three highest-paid NASCAR drivers of all-time.
4 Ken Schrader ($25 Million)
Ken Schrader has earned a cool $25 million as a result of his success at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 1982-2013. He has worked hard for his money and has raced in over 760 races over the span of his 29-year career. Ken was also the USA Silver Crown Champion and has continued to generate revenue outside of the track itself. He also owns I-55 Raceway, located in Missouri, and is the Co-Owner of Macon Speedway as well. It’s clear that cars are his passion, and they have served him well.
3 Kurt Busch ($40 Million)
Kurt Busch currently has one of the most recognizable faces in NASCAR. He makes headlines both on and off the track and is often seen with his gorgeous wife standing by his side.
He has seen all this success at the young age of 40 and is already estimated to be worth just over $40 million. His earnings will only continue to grow, as he has so much potential to sustain his career for many years to come.
2 Kyle Busch ($50 Million)
Kyle Busch has made the headlines much the same way that his brother Kurt has. In fact, the brothers have the equivalent net worth. It’s not often that siblings will both find success on the circuit – certainly not to the tune of $50 million each. His wife Samantha is also often by his side, showing her support and actively promoting him on-line and engaging with fans. He also owns his own team named “Kyle Busch Motorsports”, so we assume his net worth will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.
1 Michael Waltrip ($35 Million)
Michael Waltrip has had some pretty incredible moments with NASCAR. Some say it is in his blood, as he is the younger brother of three-time NASCAR Championship winner Darrell Waltrip. Michael saw great success on the track, picking up numerous wins and endorsements while in his prime. He was also smart enough to diversify his talents and has been a successful commentator and author. It’s reported that the most substantial portion of his earnings came from his winnings at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He is currently worth $35 million.