Home Sport NASCAR Driver’s 2024 Season Opener Rundown: From Highest Paid to the Winningest

NASCAR Driver’s 2024 Season Opener Rundown: From Highest Paid to the Winningest

by News7

Drivers are the cornerstone of NASCAR. Running races, making fans, and toughing out against each other, drivers make the sport a visual treat for the audience. While NASCAR doesn’t have a predominant glamor factor like its fellow motorsports F1, it still offers some lucrative attractions to its drivers regarding prestige and finances.

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Great performances attract sponsorships from the big guns of the sponsor market. These sponsorships contribute to a big chunk of a driver’s income. With sound finances come world-class equipment and wins on the race track. As the 2024 season inches closer, let’s explore some statistics of the premier stock-car racing competition.

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Driving in the Cup Series is the most significant opportunity for a stock-car racing driver. The bustling racing arenas filled with the eyes of sponsors and the fans is a different feeling. The Cup Series drivers have grown to make millions annually due to their ability behind the steering wheel and the charm to draw in fans. According to the latest reports, Kyle Busch leads the list of the highest-paid drivers in the Cup Series, earning around $16.9 million annually.

Busch’s former teammate, Denny Hamlin, is second on the list, with an annual income of around $13.1 million. Recently retired Kevin Harvick occupied the third position on the list with a purse of $10.9 million, while Martin Truex Jr. will take the third spot now close behind Harvick with $10.4 million in earnings per year. The final spot in the top five is taken by 2012 Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, who earns a reported fee of $9.4 million annually. The latest entrance to the top-5 is 2022 champion Joey Logano, with an annual income of $9 million.

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NASCAR is represented on the national level by three competitions. Besides the Cup Series being the top-flight, Xfinity and Truck Series are the other two tiers of racing in NASCAR. Over the years, the sport has seen some legendary motorsport athletes grace the asphalt.

However, Kyle Busch leads again. Rowdy tops the all-time wins list in the three national racing series with 229 wins. Busch is followed by The King, Richard Petty, with 200 wins.

Kevin Harvick retakes the third spot with 121 NASCAR wins in his long career. Harvick is followed by the legendary David Pearson, who recorded 106 wins, including Cup and Xfinity Series races. Hendrick Motorsports legend Jeff Gordon completes the top five with 98 NASCAR wins under his belt.

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How much do NASCAR drivers make?For NASCAR drivers, income is a variable aspect. When it comes to base salary, NASCAR teams can offer a fee of $50,000 to eight-digit figures in a year. A driver’s base salary increases with his stature and record on the track. Winning races add more money to a driver’s purse, like the Daytona 500, which awards its winner $23.6 million as the winning prize. However, prize money is usually distributed within the race team rather than reserved for the driver.


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NASCAR drivers also earn quite the bucks through endorsements and licensing. Sponsorships can add about $500,000 to its double every year for a driver. Endorsements for more prominent companies are worth more, and with these factors, the average salary for a NASCAR driver in the United States would be about $112,038 per year.

NASCAR drivers with the most Cup Series Championship winsThe battle for the top spot in this list is quite intriguing. Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, and Jimmie Johnson are tied as the most decorated NASCAR drivers with seven Cup Series championships to their name. Using their race wins is a fair metric to rank them, following which Richard Petty takes the top spot, followed by Earnhardt and Johnson.


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Jeff Gordon has four championship wins and is behind NASCAR’s winningest trio. David Pearson, Lee Petty, Tony Stewart, Cale Yarborough, and Darrell Waltrip follow Gordon with three Cup Series championship wins each. While the top three are a distant dream for most drivers, a lot comes down to the increase in competition over the years.

Source : EssentiallySports

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