Top 10 Richest NASCAR Drivers
NASCAR is far and away one of the most popular forms of stock car racing. The sport is beloved in the United States, and has produced some legendary drivers. With an average of over 2.93 million viewers watching each race, the stars of NASCAR are unsurprisingly very well compensated for their efforts. Read on to learn more about the top ten richest NASCAR drivers.
Who are the wealthiest NASCAR drivers?
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Jeff Gordon
- Jimmie Johnson
- Tony Stewart
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Mark Martin
- Danica Patrick
- Richard Petty
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. earns the ranking of the wealthiest NASCAR driver, with an estimated net worth of $300 million. His career began in the late 90s and he quickly became a legend in the racing community. From 2003 to 2017, racing fans selected Earnhardt Jr. as NASCAR'S Most Popular Driver each year consecutively. Earnhardt Jr. was the first to cross the finish line at the 2004 and 2014 Daytona 500s, and he won the 1998 and 1999 NASCAR XFINITY Series titles. Over his whole career, he has won 50 NASCAR-sanctioned races. He also owns JR Motorsports, a professional race team.
2. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon is the second wealthiest professional NASCAR driver as of 2022, with his popularity and success on the race track resulting in a net worth of $230 million. He was an integral aspect in having the sport reach mainstream media and Gordon became a household name. Gordon is a four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and a three-time Daytona 500 winner. He has accumulated a total of 86 Cup victories in his career, ranking third on NASCAR's all-time list. Retired on the track, Gordon is now a NASCAR announcer on FOX Sports, sharing his experiences and driving knowledge with millions.
3. Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson is one of the richest professional stock car drivers, with a net worth of $180 million. His success on the track proves his worth; he has won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series seven times and is the only driver in NASCAR history to win five titles in consecutive years. He began his career in 2002, and currently holds the record for most premier series championships, alongside Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. He was also named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 2009, the only race car driver ever to be awarded this title.
4. Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart makes the list of the top ten richest NASCAR drivers because of his estimated net worth that totals approximately $100 million. Stewart has acclaimed great fame for being the only driver in racing history to win a championship in NASCAR, IndyCar racing, and Silver Crown cars. He has also won three NASCAR Cup titles, joining the ranks of only 15 other drivers to accomplish this feat, many on this list. Aside from his racing career, he also founded Tony Stewart Racing and became an owner of Eldora Speedway.
5. Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick is a professional NASCAR driver with an estimated net worth of $90 million, enabling him to join the ranks of the wealthiest race car drivers. He earned most of his fortunes from all his wins on the race track. He has a total of 49 career NASCAR Cup Series victories, including wins from NASCAR's most-coveted tracks: Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400, and the Southern 500. He also has two NASCAR Xfinity Series championships and 47 Xfinity series wins. Harvick was awarded the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion by President Obama and won an ESPY (ESPN's Sports Award show) for Best Driver.
6. Kyle Busch
Known for his bright yellow M&M; sponsor, Kyle Busch has an approximate net worth of $80 million through his successes on the race track and his own self-named motorsports racing company. Busch has had many successful runs on the race track, helping him grow his fortune. He has 56 NASCAR Cup wins, and was the NASCAR Cup Champion in 2015 and 2019. In his NASCAR career, Busch has had 211 victories. Aside from driving, he founded Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2010, and has had many victories from that as well.
7. Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin earns his place on this list with a reported net worth of around $80 million, and that number is likely to keep growing. Compared to many of the other drivers on this list, Denny Hamlin remains as one of the best drivers in NASCAR today. In his career, Hamlin boasts a total of 46 wins including Daytona 500 victories in 2016, 2019, and 2020. Although Hamlin has an impressive amount of victories to his name, he still remains without a NASCAR Cup Series crown. Nonetheless, with the majority of drivers on this list retired, Hamlin has a great shot of shooting up the rankings in the near future.
8. Mark Martin
Mark Martin is estimated to be worth $75 million, primarily from his racing fortunes, but also from his business ventures centered on owning five car dealerships. He earned his spot on this list through his long-time success in the driver's seat in NASCAR. On the track, Martin has been incredibly successful; he has a total of 96 wins in NASCAR's national series. He retired in 2013, and in 2017, he was awarded a spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. On the showroom floor, Martin owns and operates five car dealerships, called Mark Martin Automotives, in three cities in Arkansas.
9. Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick has broken record upon record in NASCAR history, garnering great fame and financial profits, as well as a spot on our list, with a net worth of approximately $70 million. She began her professional race car career with a bang. In her first Indy 500 race, she led 19 laps and finished in fourth place; she is the only woman to accomplish this. She continued to break more records in 2013 as the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole, setting the fastest qualifying 500 time, and proceeding to place in eighth. She also became the first-ever female to host the ESPYs. She is now retired and is the sole proprietor of a winery in Northern California.
10. Richard Petty
A legend in this sport, Richard Petty has a current net worth of approximately $70 million even after retiring from NASCAR in 1992. Richard Petty grew up watching his father, esteemed stock car race driver Lee Petty, on the track and knew he wanted to continue in his shoes. In his entire NASCAR career, Petty has participated in over 1,180 NASCAR races, and was victorious in 200 of those races. He won the Daytona 500 on seven different occasions. He got inducted into the International Motorsport Hall of Fame in '97, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
Ken Schrader began his stock car racing career in the early 1980s and has continued his passion for racing into the present day, holding a net worth of approximately $25 million through his career. During his three decades in the profession, he participated in over 760 races. Schrader retired from NASCAR raceways in 2013 with many wins under his belt, including the Busch Clash Winner in 1989 and '90 and the Daytona 500 pole winner in three consecutive years from '89-'90. He also won multiple awards including the 1980 USAC Stock Car Rookie of the Year, Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 1985, and the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Sportsman Award in 2009.
Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. is a legendary NASCAR driver who held a net worth of approximately $70 million at the time of his tragic passing in 2001. Earnhardt undoubtedly left his mark on the sport, however, claiming seven series championships and 76 NASCAR cup series victories. He also won the Daytona 500 in 1998. Earnhardt is seen as one of the pioneers of the sport and certainly helped in making it as popular as it is today. His legacy will always be shared through the monstrous success of his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr and his spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame was unquestionably earned.
Michael Waltrip makes our list as an honorable mention with a net worth of around $40 million. Waltrip is a former NASCAR driver who currently works for FOX Sports as a NASCAR commentator. His most notable wins include victories at the Daytona 500 in 2001 and 2003, although he has 16 total victories to his name. Waltrip began his racing career in 1986 and even participated in events up until 2017. While he may not boast as many victories as other competitors on this list, Waltrip has certainly made his mark on the sport and accumulated a hefty net worth to show for it.
What is the Daytona 500 purse size?
A NASCAR purse is the amount of money that can be allocated to the drivers after the race is completed, depending on where they place. NASCAR is not a "winner-take-all" sport; drivers earn money even if they did not place first. It is private information of how the money is distributed to the players, however, the 2021 Daytona 500 purse was the largest sum in American motorsports history at $23.6 million.
What is the most popular NASCAR race track?
The most popular and well-recognized NASCAR race track is the Daytona 500. This is a stock car race set for NASCAR, in which the drivers race around the track for 500 miles, hence the Daytona 500 title. The official title of the raceway is Daytona International Speedway, and it is located in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Which NASCAR driver is the highest paid driver in 2021?
Kyle Busch was the highest paid NASCAR driver for 2021, earning an approximately $17.8 million dollars in total earnings. His total earnings account for only his salary and endorsements, not additional winnings. He is set to receive $16.1 million in salary, and an additional $1.7 million in his endorsements and licensing deals.