Car Racing is one of the most taxing and, at the same time, one of the most lucrative sports in the world. Not only are race car drivers crazy famous, but they are also paid mullahs. Racing has been a fixation of humans for a long time. Here we take a look at the top 10 highest-paid race car drivers.
Highest Paid Race Car Drivers | 2023 Updates
Ever since humans first started riding other animals, there have been races. Be it solo riding races or chariot races, humans are addicted to speed and enjoy the nail-biting finishes of races. Though chariot racing has gone out of fashion now, they are replaced by bigger and meaner monsters called race cars.
10. Denny Hamlin
At number 10 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Denny Hamlin. He is a full-time racer at Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series while also being a part-timer in Xfinity Series.
He is the 2016 Daytona 500 winner, along with wins like the 2015 Sprint All-Star Race, 2014 Aaron’s 499, 2010 Southern 500, Sprint Unlimited winner (three times), and Budweiser Duel winner (twice).
A promising rookie when he started out, he won Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2006. Now he earns $15.1 million a year, making him one of the richest stock car racers.
9. Kevin Harvick
At number 9 is Kevin Harvick. He is a stock car racer currently driving Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Hass Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Kevin also drives part-time in the Xfinity Series.
He is a 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and two times Xfinity Series Champion. With 46 wins, he also has the third-highest wins in the Xfinity series and also has the all-time record for cup win at Phoenix International Raceway with 8 wins.
Considering his great run, no wonder he is one of the top paid stock car racers with an income of $15.5 million.
8. Nico Rosberg
At number 8 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Nico Rosberg. He is a criminally underrated racer because of the presence of racers like Vettel, Alonso, and Hamilton.
Despite that, Nico is one of the best racers currently, who managed to finish at 2nd place last year and is currently in the first position in the F1 Championship 2016, ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 26 points.
Because of his dual citizenship, he has raced for both Finland and Germany. Though he earned $19 million last year, making him one of the highest-earning F1 drivers, we have a feeling he will pocket an even bigger check this year.
7. Jeff Gordon
At number 7 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Jeff Gordon. Sometimes it feels like Jeff Gordon has been racing for as long as we remember considering the fact that he is 45 now.
One of the greats of the modern era of NASCAR, he is 3rd on the all-time Cup wins list with 93 wins. He is a four-time Sprint Cup Champion and won the Daytona three times.
He often makes it to lists of the greatest NASCAR racers of all time, not only because of his achievements but also his durability. Even at the twilight of his career, he raked in $21.6 million last year. He is one of the top 10 race car drivers of all time.
6. Jimmie Johnson
At number 6 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Jimmie Johnson. He is a stock car racing driver and six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.
He is the only driver in NASCAR history to win 5 consecutive championships. In 2013, he won his 6th and is only behind Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt in most championships won.
With earnings close to $22.2 million last year, he is one of the highest-paid NASCAR drivers.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
At number 5 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Racing is in his blood, considering that his father, Dale Earnhardt, is a NASCAR Hall of Famer and is one of the most controversial athletes in the racing world.
He is one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time and thus has even won the Most Popular Driver Award thirteen times consecutively from 2003-2015. Dale has been especially successful at the Daytona International Speedway, which earned him the moniker of “Pied Piper” of Daytona.
He also won the Daytona 500 twice. He earned approximately $23.5 million, combining both his winnings and endorsements, and with a net worth of $300 million, he really is one of the richest race car drivers in the world.
4. Kimi Raikkonen
At number 4 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Kimi Raikkonen. He is no stranger to being awarded big checks. This F1 racer who won the Championship back in 2007 in his first season with Ferrari was reportedly paid a wage of $51 million a year!
That made him the 26th highest-paid celebrity in 2008 and the 5th highest-paid sportsman in the world. No wonder he is one of the richest race car drivers in the world.
Last year he earned $27 million in salary and endorsements, which might be half of what he earned back in 2007 but still is enough to make him fourth on our list.
3. Sebastian Vettel
At number 3 is Sebastian Vettel. At just 29, Vettel has already been considered among the all-time greats of F1 racing.
He was a youth sensation making several youngest records like the youngest to take part in an official practice session of the Grand Prix, to score championship points, lead a race, win a race, and secure pole position. Several of these were later improved by other racers, though.
He enjoyed a period of unprecedented success when he won four F1 World Driver Championships consecutively. This made him the only fourth person to ever win four or more championships. He earned a reported $32 million last year, making him one of the top paid race car drivers.
2. Fernando Alonso
At number 2 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Fernando Alonso. This Spaniard is one of the best F1 racers in the world. He first got behind the steering wheel when he was three and got into kart racing, and won three consecutive championships.
He was 22 when he won the Grand Prix and became the youngest person to do so, a feat which was subsequently broken by Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.
With a salary of $34 million last year, he is one of the highest-paid racers.
1. Lewis Hamilton
At number 1 among the highest-paid race car drivers is Lewis Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton is probably one of the greatest F1 drivers in the world, and for good reasons.
So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he is also the highest-paid F1 driver. With a paycheck of $36 million and a further 3 million in endorsements, his earnings are off the charts.
He has 84 wins, 151 podium finishes, and three championships to his name in his illustrious career. He was born to race and had apparently approached McLaren team’s principal Ron Dennis and said, “I want to race for you one day. I want to race for McLaren.”
These are the top 10 highest-paid race car drivers in the world. Don’t forget to share and comment down below.
Highest-Paid Race Car Drivers | 2023 Infographics
FAQs Regarding Highest-Paid Race Car Drivers
Q. How much do pro-race car drivers make?
Race Car Driver salaries in the US range from $19,910 to $187,200, with a median of $44,680. The middle 50% of Race Car Drivers make $28,400, while the top 75% make $187,200.
Q. Do F1 drivers make more than NASCAR?
In a nutshell, no. Even the top-end NASCAR drivers do not take home as much money as Formula 1 drivers. Forbes listed three F1 drivers among the top 60 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022, but no NASCAR driver appeared.
Q. How do NASCAR owners make money?
NASCAR charges them a fee for the right to broadcast certain races. In return, the networks earn revenue from advertising. All of the remainders of the purse money comes from race sponsors — but just because a driver wins a race doesn’t mean that he or she will get all of the money the sponsors put into it.
Q. Do NASCAR drivers poop in their suits?
So fans want to know if NASCAR drivers poop in their suits. This is not the case. Drivers use the toilet and empty themselves in preparation for the race. Additionally, if they feel like going to the bathroom, they don’t have time to do so. In fact, they are instructed to pee in their pants.
Last Updated On: May 2023
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In a nutshell should be yes.