NASCAR’s Richest Drivers Aren’t Worried About Speeding Tickets

Sports | 3/2/19

Stock car racing is undeniably one of the most popular sports in the United States. Sanctioned by the NASCAR, it’s home to 17 of the top 20 most attended events every year. For the men and women behind the wheels of these cars, the financial rewards are momentous, skyrocketing as attendance and television viewing records are shattered yearly. If you thought NFL, NBA, and MLB players were well compensated for their talents, then you’ve never taken a look at the books of NASCAR’s highest paid racers!

Jimmie Johnson – $120 Million

Jimmie Johnson nascar richest drivers
Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

If you think Jimmie Johnson has a lot of money now, just wait until his racing career is over! Up to now, the current face of NASCAR has earned $120 million in his career. When he finally pulls over and retires, we imagine Dale Earnhardt Jr. might lose his place on this list.

Johnson isn’t letting his wealth and fame cloud his vision, though. The athlete prefers to stay humble, donating large chunks of his earnings while participating in hundreds of charity events. He even has his own non-profit, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, which works to raise money for K-12 public schools.

Ken Schrader – $75 Million

ken schrader nascar richest drivers
Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images
Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images

Ken Schrader amassed his fortune through sheer will and determination. Schrader never met a stock car he didn’t like, and as a result, raced for several organizations ranging from NASCAR to ARCA. His overall record isn’t great, but we’re guessing he’s okay with that.

If we made $75 million over our career, wins and losses would only be circumstantial, too. It doesn’t hurt that Schrader also invests in the sport he loves and owns several of his own speedways and raceways.

Tony Stewart – $70 Million

tony stewart nascar richest drivers
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Tony Stewart is the only driver in history ton win both a NASCAR championship and an IndyCar championship. With $70 million in the bank, he’s clearly well compensated for his incredible achievements, even if he is one of the most controversial drivers of all-time.

Throughout his career, Stewart never strayed away from fighting back. His knack for aggression got the best of him in 2014, when he hit another driver who was outside of their car at the time, sending them to the hospital with critical injures.

Kevin Harvick – $70 Million

kevin harvick nascar richest driver
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Currently tied with Tony Stewart on this list with $70 million, Kevin Harvick should surpass his NASCAR brother soon. Harvick is still an active racer, and arguably right up there with Jimmie Johnson in terms of talent.

If you don’t believe it, then consider this, Harvick is the third winningest driver in Monster Cup Energy Series history. The only reason he hasn’t earned as much money as Johnson is a perceived lack of marketability. Still, it’s hard to deny Harvick has done just fine for himself in his NASCAR career.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. – $70 Million

dale earnhardt sr richest nascar drivers
Brian Cleary/Getty Images
Brian Cleary/Getty Images

You didn’t think a list with Dale Earnhardt Jr. would complete without his father, did you? The elder Earnhardt, who tragically passed away in 2001, is one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all-time. Tied with Richard Petty for the most Championships (seven), he stands heads and shoulders above his competition.

Financially, however, Earnhardt Sr. comes up short. In a testament to just how NASCAR has grown in the last 20 years, all you have to do is look at Earnhardt Sr.’s earnings and compare them to his son.

Cale Yarborough – $50 Million

cale yarborough nascar richest drivers
ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images
ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images

Cale Yarborough won 86 races during his illustrious NASCAR career. That number puts him in the sports top five wins leaders, and if he was racing today, he would undoubtedly be one of top fiver earners.

Legend aside, one of the reasons fans will never forget Yarborough is for one fight. In 1979, he got into a fistfight on the race track with Donnie Allison, another NASCAR icon. The unbecoming moment happened at the Daytona 500 at the peak of a feud between the two.

Jeff Gordon – $150 Million

jeff gordon richest nascar drivers
Brian Cleary/Getty Images
Brian Cleary/Getty Images

Even if you don’t watch NASCAR, you probably know who Jeff Gordon is. One of the winningest drivers in the history of the sport, Gordon also helped raise the image of stock car racing in the ’90s with his good looks.

Oddly enough, Gordon discovered his love of racing after his father bought him a BMX bike when he was four. Since retiring, the man who is worth $150 million has carved out a second career as an analyst. Working for Fox Sports, Gordon is a staple in the booth during every race.

Mark Martin – $70 Million

mark martin richest nascar drivers
Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images
Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

The fourth $70 million man on this list, Mark Martin had a NASCAR career that spanned three decades and over 880 races. One of the most storied racers in history, Martin was never the best driver on the track, but his long career ensured him a spot in history.

In 2017, Martin was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Technically, he hasn’t retired yet, but he deserved the honor nonetheless. His last competitive race was in 2013. Off the track, he owns four car dealerships.

Richard Petty – $60 Million

richard petty nascars richest drivers
Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Richard Petty is nicknamed “The King” for a reason. The original NASCAR superstar, Petty was the first driver in history to win seven Cup championships, and holds the record for most career wins. If the sport was bigger when he was in charge, who knows how much money he would have made!

Petty, who is still alive today, is a true icon of racing. Not only did he participate in over 1,100 races before retiring, he also made wearing a cowboy hat cool again!

Dale Earnardt Jr. – $300 Million

dale earnhardt jr richest nascar driver
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

One of NASCAR’s most popular drivers of all-time, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is without a doubt the wealthiest. Earning $300 million over his career, the sure fire Hall of Famer has earned double what the next closest driver on this list has.

From 2003 until 2013, Earnhardt Jr. was voted as the organization’s most popular driver. Nicknamed the “Pied Piper,” he turned his likability into marketability. Not only is he impossible to beat on the track, it’s impossible not to buy whatever sports drink he’s endorsing off it!

Greg Biffle – $50 Million

Greg Biffle Nascars richest drivers
Josh Hedges/Getty Images
Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Voted 2002’s “Most Popular Driver,” Greg Biffle is also one of the richest. With career earnings of $50 million, Biffle has won championships in multiple NASCAR divisions. Incredibly versatile, the driver of the number 16 Ford Fusion has also made a name for himself off the track.

Now, we know what you’re thinking, but no, Greg Biffle never became a model. Instead, he invested in speedways. Today, he is the part owner of two of them; Willamette Speedway and Sunset Speedway.

Matt Kenseth – $60 Million

mett kenseth richest nascar drivers
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Matt Kenseth raced in NASCAR for over two decades. In that time, he was a victory machine and earned around $60 million. All that money, however, came with a price; Kenseth is one of the most controversial drivers in history.

Kenseth’s most controversial moment came when he purposely got into an accident with Joey Logano during a race. For his actions, Kenseth was given the biggest suspension in the history of NASCAR; disqualification from two upcoming races and six months on probation.

Danica Patrick – $55 Million

Danica Patrick wearing sunglasses on the track
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

NASCAR has a rich history of women proving they can do anything better than men on the track. Danica Patrick, with $55 million in career earnings, is the most successful female NASCAR driver of all time.

Not all of her wealth came from racing, though. Patrick made a second career for herself as a model and spokesperson for godaddy.com, Tissot, Chevrolet, and Coca-Cola. She is also the owner her own wine brand, Somnium, based in St. Helena, California.

Kasey Kahne – $50 Million

kasey kahne nascars richest drivers
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Kasey Kahne began his stock car career at 17 years old in a race at Washington’s Deming Speedway. Since that time, he’s appeared in over 400 races and has recorded double-digit wins, earning a cool $50 million along the way.

In 2004, Kahne was named the Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year. Later, once his brand in the sport was established, he started his own team, Kasey Kahne Racing. In October 2018, he announced his retirement. He was just 38 years old at the time but was beginning to experience minor race-related health concerns.

Carl Edwards – $50 Million

carl edwards nascar richest driver
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Have we plateaued at $50 million? Carl Edwards is next on our list and another member of the half century club. In 2007, he won the Busch Series Cup championship. Then, four years later, he almost won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Edwards is one of the sport’s most popular and marketable drivers. His fans love him for his personality as much as his skill. Whenever he wins a race, Edwards backflips off his car in celebration!

Kyle Busch – $50 Million

kyle busch nascar richest driver
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Kyle Busch, following the path of many racers before him, started his own racing team in 2010, Kyle Busch Motorsports. The new venture added millions of dollars of value to his already bursting bank account.

Overall, Busch has made around $50 million in his racing career. And what does he do with all that money? He donates millions of dollars to charity and worthy causes. Just because he has millions of dollars doesn’t mean he needs to spend it on himself!

Kurt Busch – $50 Million

kurt busch nascar richest driver
Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

We guess there’s no sibling rivalry between the Busch brothers! Kurt Busch is the older brother of Kyle and has earned the same amount of money over his career. In 2004, Kurt made a big statement, beating Jimmie Johnson and claiming the NASCAR Championship crown.

Kurt has become notable since that championship for more than just his skill set. He has, what is considered by many other drivers, to be a bad attitude. Throughout his career, the elder Busch has gotten into several public feuds with other NASCAR drivers.

Jeff Burton – $45 Million

jeff burton nascarrichest drivers
Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images
Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images

During his career, Jeff Burton was known as “The Mayor.” Before retiring, “The Mayor” won 21 series races and earned $45 million. If you recognize his name, you’ll also know he has a famous racing family, which includes his brother Ward and his nephew Jeb.

After retiring, Burton took a job with Fox Sports to became an in race analyst. Like Jeff Gordon from earlier on this list, he quickly became indispensable in his new position and is one of the highlights of tuning into new races.

Michael Waltrip – $35 Million

michael waltrip nascar richest driver
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Although mostly retired, Michael Waltrip still enjoys getting behind the wheel from time to time. During his active career, he won the Daytona 500 twice, stepping out of the shadow of his brother, Darrell.

Once Michael decided his days of full-time racing were over, he jumped into other ventures. Most notably, he became a published author, writing the book In The Blink Of An Eye. Unable to stay away from the track entirely, he also works as a commentator.

Denny Hamlin – $30 Million

denny hamlin nascar richest driver
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Denny Hamlin found his love for racing when he first stepped behind the wheel of a go-kart at seven years old. Since then, the sport has consumed his life. In 1997, at just 15 years old, he won the MKA Manufacturers Cup.

Nine years later he entered NASCAR and was named the 2006 Rookie of the Year. In 2016, he won the Daytona 500, one of the biggest wins of his entire career. Overall, Hamlin has amassed $30 million, a number which will only grow with time and more races.

Martin Truex Jr. – $30 Million

martin truex jr
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr began his NASCAR career in 2004 at the Bass Pro Shops MNBA 500 in Atlanta. His first win came three years later in Dover at the 2007 Autism Speaks 400. In total, he as 19 wins in 482 races (and counting).

Along with those 19 wins, he has 19 pole position starts and 185 top ten finishes. In 2017, he was the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion. He currently races for Joe Gibbs racing.

Paul Menard – $30 Million

paul menard
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Paul Menard has been racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series since 2003. He has participate in over 400 races, with 65 top ten finishes. Oddly enough, for a driver worth as much money as he is, he has only ever won once.

Menard’s only win was at the 2011 Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. He also races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he has added three more wins and 100 more top ten finishes.

Jamie McMurray – $25 Million

jamie mcmurray
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

You won’t find Jamie McMurray on the track these days. Since retiring in 2019, McMurray moved into the booth. He now works as a race analyst for Fox NASCAR. With seven career wins to his name, McMurray might have had the most decorated career, but he did have a memorable one.

Most fans will never forget the 2010 Daytona 500. He won the league’s opening race that year, and went on to win the Brickyard 400. The feat made him one of three drivers to ever win both races in the same year.

Brad Keselowski – $25 Million

brad keselowski
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Brad Keselowski has done a lot in his decade in NASCAR. Participating in over 340 races, he has 28 wins to his name to go along with 170 top ten finishes. With that kind of pedigree, it’s not shocking to see him pop up on this list.

Keselowski currently races for Team Penske. On raceday, he gets behind the wheel of the number 12 Mustang. He also own Brad Keselowski Racing, and fields trucks of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Joey Logano – $24 Million

joey logano
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Joey Logano is nicknamed “Sliced Bread” and races for Team Penske. Why he got the nickname isn’t important. What is important is that he’s making the most of his career, which has seen him win 22 races in ten years.

In 2018, Logano reached the peak of NASCAR, winning the Monster Energy Cup. His ascent isn’t surprising. He was the youngest driver in history to ever win a NASCAR race. Who knows, when he retires, he might be considered the best.

David Ragan – $20 Million

david ragan
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Born in 1985, David Ragan is one of the younger drivers on this list. He currently races for Front Row Motor Sports, where he has made a name for himself in the NASCAR world.

Over the course of his 14 year career, Ragan has 40 top ten finishes and two wins. He first tasted victory at the 2011 Coke Zero 400 and last visited victory lane after the 2013 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Super Speedway.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – $20 Million

ricky stenhouse jr
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. competes full tie for Roush Fenway Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Since debuting in 2011, he 32 top ten finishes and two wins. Both of his wins came in 2018, one at Daytona and the other at Talladega.

For Stenhouse Jr., racing has always been his path. He started kart racing at six-years-old and won 47 races before switching to sprint car racing in 2003. He began his minor league stock car career in 2008, and quickly ascended to the sport’s highest tier.

Reed Sorenson – $18 Million

reed sorenson
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Racing for Spire Motorsports, Reed Sorenson can been on racedays behind the wheel of the number 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He also drives the number 27 Camaro ZL1 for Premium Motorsports.

Over the course of his 11 year career, Sorenson has participated in over 200 races. He has 86 top ten finishes to his name, and four wins. His first win came in 2005 at the Pepsi 300. His last win was in 2011 at the Bucyrus 200.

AJ Allmendinger – $18 Million

aj allmendinger
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Anthony James Allmendinger has been racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 2007. He has driven in over 370 races in that time and has one trip to Victory Lane to go along with 57 top ten finishes.

No longer a full time racer, Allmendinger also works as an analyst for NBC on NACSAR America. On top of that, NBC uses him on their IMSA Sport Car Coverage. For Allmendinger, life couldn’t better since stepping out from behind the wheel.

Austin Dillon – $12 Million

austin dillon
Presley Ann/Getty Images
Presley Ann/Getty Images

In 2011, Austin Dillon participated in his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Six years later, got his win. One year later, he won the Daytona 500, notching his second career victory.

Dillon races for Richard Childress Racing, where he drives the number three Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He is the older brother of Ty Dillon, son of Mike Dillon, and grandson of Richard Childress. That’s quite a pedigree! Good thing for Dillon he has done an incredible job honoring the family’s name.

Trevor Bayne – $10 Million

trevor bayne
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

At just 28-years-old, Trevor Bayne has quickly made a name for himself in the NASCAR world. He won his first race one year into his career, taking the top spot at the 2011 Daytona 500. In 187 total races run, he has 16 top ten finishes.

Bayne currently drices for Roush Fenway Racing. He has been noted throughout his career for his devotion to his faith, which he gives credit for helping him deal with his overnight NASCAR success.

Michael McDowell – $10 Million

michael mcdowell
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Don’t be fooled by his smile, Michael McDowell is a bad man when it comes to raceday. Driving the number 34 Ford Mustang for Front Row Motorsports, McDowell has earned just around $10 million for his career.

A lot of McDowell’s earning come from how long he has raced in NASCAR. In over ten years, he has driven in 290 races. Sadly, he has never tasted Victory Lane or started in the pole position. He does have seven top ten finishes.

Landon Cassill – $5 Million

landon cassill
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Despite making his living in NASCAR for nearly ten years now, Landon Cassill has only made around $5 million. This can be attributed to his lack of achievements. In over 290 races, Cassill has not won a single race and only has one top ten finish.

Still, give Cassill credit for refusing to give up. He currently races for StarCom Racing and continues to be hungry to get to Victory Lane one day. Maybe it will happen this season!

Ryan Blaney – $5 Million

ryan blaney
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Only 25-years-old, Ryan Blaney has a long career ahead of him in NASCAR. Since entering the league in 2014, he has run in over 130 races and has two winds and 43 top ten finishes to his name.

By the time it’s all said and done, we imagine those numbers will be much higher, and Blaney will be worth much more than $5 million. Until then, we’ll just have to keep watching as the young man infuses the sports with the youth it desperately needed.

Chase Elliott – $2 Million

chase elliot
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Still just a baby, Chase Elliott has quickly become one of the most feared NASCAR drivers on the track. He made his debt in 2015, but didn’t catch on fire until 2018, when he won his first race at Watkins Glen.

In five years, Elliott has won three races, started in the pole position four times, and has 60 top ten finishes. In 2016, he was named the Rookie of the Year and is no longer just known as the son of Bill Elliott.

Clint Bowyer – $40 Million

clint bowyer
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without the addition of Clint Bowyer! You didn’t think we forgot about him, did you? Bowyer has been racing since 2005 and has 474 races to his name.

In those races, Bowyer has 197 top ten finishes and ten wins. He reaces for Stewart-Haas Racing and drives the number 14 Ford Mustang. He has previously raced for HScott Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, and Richard Childress Racing. In 2008, won the Nationwide Series.

Ryan Newman – $50 Million

ryan newan
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Ryan Newman is also known as the “Rocket Man” for his exciting style of racing. Driving in NASCAR for almost 20 years, there’s not a lot he has left to accomplish. In 625 races, he has 18 wins and 247 top ten finishes.

Newman’s first NASCAR race came in 2000, and his first win happened two years later at the New Hampshire 300. His last win came in 2017 at the Camping World 500 in Phoenix.

Kyle Larson – $11 Million

kyle larson
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Kyle Larson debuted in NASCAR in 2013, and has since racked up $11 million in earnings. He was only 20-years-old when he made his first start and has won five races since then.

Larson best year came in 2017, when he won four races and 15 top five finishes. Unfortunately, his earnings since 2015 have not been reported, so that $11 million figure could actually be much higher. Overall, he has 83 career top ten finishes.

Bubba Wallace – Unknown

bubba wallace jr
Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Bubba Wallace made his NASCAR debut in 2017 at 23-years-old. He has never won a race, but has three top ten finishes. We wish we could tell you his career earnings, but none have been reported so far.

In 2018, Wallace finished in second place at the Daytona 500. It was the highest finish ever for an African American Racer. He was also the first African American racer to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Ty Dillon – $1 Million

ty dillon nascar
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

We’ve already told you about Austin Dillon, so now it’s time give his brother Ty Dillon a little credit. Debuting in NASCAR in 2014, Ty has just under $1 million in reported earnings so far.

In his short but fruitful career, he has two top ten finishes. At just 27-years-old, we imagine by the time he retires he will have quite a few more, and probably some wins to go along with it. Until then, he’ll just have to be patient and keep taking pointers from his brother.