NASCAR is the family-owned automotive racing sport that has its roots dating back to 1948 when the sport began with Bill France Sr., and his grandson, Brian France taking over as CEO in 2003. NASCAR is the sport of stock car racing that governs and sanctions multiple racecar sporting events. It is composed of different owners of teams and their drivers with race being held in 39 of the 50 United States. NASCAR began with its headquarters based in Daytona, Florida but now has bases in three North Carolina cities; Charlotte, Concord, and Conover. The sport is a multi-million dollar sport with many of the drivers being some of the most wealthy sportsmen in any sport. The payouts for the wins can be extremely high and many of the top drivers are have exorbitant net worth’s. The 20 riches NASCAR drivers in history are listed.
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the son of the legendary, Dale Earnhardt. Both names are a couple of the biggest names associated with the sport and both have earned their place in history with their auto racing skills. Dale Jr.’s. father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., is a hall of famer in the sport who was tragically killed during the last lap of the Daytona 500 on February 18, 2001. Dale’s son, DE2, as he is referred to, has been following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps in auto racing since he was 17 and started competing in the Stock Car races in Concord, North Carolina at the Motorsport Speedway. For eight years, 2003-2009, DE2 was voted as NASCAR’s most popular driver, and it’s not surprising with a name like Earnhardt, the sport is just in the blood. The #88 car on the track, has become synonymous with the name and it is never surprising to see in the winner’s circle at the end of a race. During his lengthy career in NASCAR, DE2 has had hundreds of wins in the combination of racing events, which all have big payouts by themselves. When you couple his race-winning payouts with his heft yearly salary from Hendrick’s Sports of $26 million, which $22 million comes from his endorsements, it’s no wonder Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the number one richest NASCAR driver in of all time. He has a net worth of $300 Million, who far surpasses, even his hall of famer dad, who also does happen to fall on the list of richest drivers of all time in NASCAR.
2. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon started his racing career in 1993 with the Bush Series. After a few wins he moved on to stock car racing as a driver for Jimmie Hendrick’s racing and has had an amazing 93 career wins, including three Daytona 500 wins; 1997, 1999 and 2005. He drove the #24 car, which he is richly famous for, but has since retired from driving and has taken a position as a Fox NASCAR announcer. Gordon is the second richest NASCAR driver of all time, with a net worth of $200 million. Gordon is reportedly the first NASCAR driver to reach $100 million in career winnings, which he reached in 2009. He has also been named as one of the 50 Greatest Drivers and has been ranked #10 in the ESPN’s 25 Greatest Drivers of all-time.
3. Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson has net worth of $120 million. He began racing motorcycles at age 4 and knew he had a love for the sport. He started racing stock cars in 1998, with his team from Herzog Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson is the driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools- sponsored Chevy SS for Hendrick’s Motorsports, which he joined on with in 2002. He is a 6-time champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and his career really began to take off in 2006. He has won ‘Driver of the Year 5 and has been named ‘Male Athlete of the Year’ by the Associated Press, in the past.
4. Dale Earnhardt Sr.
One of the biggest names in NASCAR ever, is Dale Earnhardt Sr. He was born Ralph Dale Earnhardt and began his career in race car driving in 1975 when he drove in the World 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race was part of the Winston Cup Series. Earnhardt was often referred to as “the Intimidator” due to his aggressive driving tactics. He was one of the best NASCAR drivers ever, in the sport and won a total of 74 races in his long career. This included 1 Daytona 500 win in 1998, and had multiple NASCAR Winston Cup Championships. His career achievements include being inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame as well as the NASCAR Hall of Fame and was named Rookie of the Year in the 1979 Winston Cup Series. Earnhardt Sr. died tragically in an accident during the 2001 Daytona 500, on the last lap. At the time of his death, Dale Earnhardt Sr. had a net worth of $70 million, which puts him in the #4 position for the richest NASCAR driver, ever.
5. Kevin Harvick
Born, Kevin Michael Harvick, the 39 year old NASCAR driver has a net worth of $70 million, and is right up there with Dale Earnhardt Sr. for being one of the richest NASCAR drivers, ever. Harvick drives the #4 Budweiser car and his driving career includes 14 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series and 37 winds in the Nationwide Series. He has also had 9 wins in the Camping World Truck Series and holds 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, which include the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, Southern 500, and the Coca-Cola 600. Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion in 2014 and has been one tough driver to beat since he hit the track. Harvick is also an active philanthropist and established his foundation, the Kevin Harvick Foundation back in 2010 to support programs for kids to enrich their lives, here in the US. You have probably seen Harvick in different television commercials, including Coca-Cola and Subway.
6. Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart has a $70 million net worth and an extensive career in NASCAR. Born on May 20, 1971, Stewart is not only a driver of the famous stock cars, but NASCAR team owner. He started his love of racing as a kid, racing go karts and won his first championship in go kart racing at the World Karting Association in 1987 and winning ‘Rookie f the Year’ 4 years later at the U.S. Auto Club. Stewart’s NASCAR debut was in the Busch Series in 1996 followed by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 3 years later. He frequently placed in the Top 5 as a rookie. Since his career began, Stewart has participated in 540 races and took home first place wins in 2002, 2005, and 2011. Stewart has made a couple of “firsts”. He is the only driver who’s ever won a Winston Cup while still using the old point system and then a Nextel Cup using the new point system. He is also the only driver in the history of NASCAR who’s won both, a NASCAR and INDYCAR championship.
7. Mark Martin
Mark Martin is the 7th wealthiest NASCAR of all-time with a net worth of $70 million. He has been racing since he was a teenager and joined the ASA racing series in the late 1970’s. He rose quickly in popularity and in 1977, he was listed as ‘Rookie of the Year.’ He joined the NASCAR circuit in 1981 but for the following 6 years, he did not have a successful run. Martin went through a series of moving from team-to-team but eventually returned to the ASA in 1984 and from that point, began having successful races. He won the Nationwide Series in ’87, as well as 40 Sprint Cup races and 49 Nationwide Series races during his career. As of the year 2014, he has had the second most Nationwide Series wins. The winning car Martin last drove for the NASCAR Sprint Cup win was the #14, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS.
Richard Petty was born on July 2, 1937. The former NASCAR driver was known as The King and raced in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as well as the Strictly Stock/Grand National Era. He is most known for winning the NASCAR championship 7 times during his career as well as winning the Daytona 500, an impressive and record setting 7 times. During the years he race, he ran a total of 200 races, with 27 races just in the 1967 season alone. Petty ran in the top poles an impressive 127 times and had over 700 Top 10 finishes with his 1.184 starts. Petty retired from NASCAR after 1992 and left behind him, a successful career and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. It has been reported that his net worth is $65 million.
9. Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth has a net worth of $60 million due to his career in NASCAR which began in 1988 when he was 16. Kenseth drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the #20 car, marked Dollar General and is a DeWalt Toyota Camry. He was 16 years old when he started racing, in 1988 at the Madison International Speedway and he kept going, racing on several short tracks in Wisconsin. From short tracks, Kenseth moved to ARTGO, American Speed Association and Hooters Late Model touring series before he finally wound up in the NASCAR Busch Series. Kenseth received ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2000 and took the championship in 2004. He also claimed the Dayton 500 after a rain-shortened race.
10. Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards falls #10 on the list of the richest NASCAR drivers with a net worth of $50 million. Born in 1979, 35 year old Edward started racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2002 and he is currently linked to the #19, car for Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards has had a successful NASCAR career, to-date. His wins in NASCAR include the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series championship and was very close to winning the 2011 NASCAR Spring Cup Series title, however, in the end, he lost the tiebreaker to Tony Stewart. One of Edwards’ best years was in 2005 when he became the first driver to ever win two races back-to-back; the Busch and the NEXTEL Cup Series, which were held on the same track over the same weekend. Edwards has been keeping his focus on one thing since 2012 and that is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
11. Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick has made her mark in the world of driving. She is one of the wealthiest drivers in auto racing and one of the highest paid professional drivers. She receives huge endorsement checks and earns a lot more than most female athletes in any sport, $12 million a year and she has a net worth of $55 million. She was born in 1982 in Wisconsin. She dropped out of high school to pursue her dream of auto racing and eventually ended up signing on with Rahal Letterman Racing. Patrick has broken a couple records in NASCAR. She is the first woman to hold the number one position in the Indy 500 back in 2005 and the first woman to win the pole in the Daytona 500.
12. Kyle Busch
Born in 1985, Kyle Busch is not only a professional stock car racer, but he is a team owner. He is currently the driver of the #18 car and he owns the Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch has already carved out a very successful career for himself in NASCAR and there is no signs of him stopping. He has won many races and has claimed the 2015 NASCAR Spring Cup Series champion. He is not the only Busch in NASCAR. He has an older brother in the sport, Kurt Busch, and has built a net worth of $50 million in his career so far.
13. Greg Biffle
Greg Biffle is now an inactive NASCAR driver but a highly successful one and has a net worth of $50 million to prove his success. He was born in 1969 and began his career in 1995. He was the driver of the #16 Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing and has a lot of accomplishments and wins in the car. Biffle was the 1998 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year, Busch Series Rookie of the Year in 2001 and won the championship in 2002. During 2003 to 2016, Biffle had 19 wins for Roush in the #16 car, but now he is the analyst for NBC Sports show, NASCAR America.
14. Cale Yarborough
Yarborough had a 31 year run in NASCAR before retiring. He completed 560 races and walked away with 83 wins. This tells you how successful he was and if that doesn’t, his net worth of $50 should. By the time he retired, he had more than 300 top ten finishes as well as he won the title of being the only driver to ever win the Winston Cup Series three consecutive years in a row. He also holds another record which is that he is the only driver to ever have qualified for the Daytona 500 at speeds greater than 200 mph. He was 49 when he retired.
15. Kasey Khane
Another NASCAR driver with a net worth of $50 million, is Kasey Khane. Kasey Khane is a pro NASCAR driver and owns his own racing team, Kawsey Khane Racing. Born in 1980, Kasey has won 17 Cup Series tournaments, including three in the Coca-Cola 600s in 2006, 2008 and 2012. He also won Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2004. It was after 17 wins that Khane felt like he had proved himself in NASCAR and decided to start his own team. He has really pushed himself in the sport and his persistence paid off well as he falls #15 in the lineup of richest NASCAR drivers.
16. Kurt Busch
Older brother to Kyle Busch, Kurt has also made a huge impact on NASCAR over the years. He has a net worth of $50 million and a very honorable career with the sport. Kurt Busch is the driver of the #41 Ford Fusion and races for Stewart-Haas Racing. He was the winner of the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. He also has 29 Cup career winnings to his name. One of his biggest wins is the Daytona 500, which he accomplished in 2017, along with the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. All three were in the same year and same division, which made him one of only twenty-seven drivers who have ever accomplished this feat.
17. Jeff Burton
Jeff Burton was born in 1967 and has been nicknamed, “The Mayor,” in NASCAR. Jeff isn’t the only Burton in NASCAR. He also has a brother, Ward, and nephew, Jeb, who have both competed in the Sprint Cup Series. Jeff has had a total of 21 wins in his career, including victories in the Spring Cup Series and Coca-Cola 600s in both 199 ad 2001. He also won the 1999 Southern 500. Today Jeff serves as a color analyst on NBC Sports once they got back to covering NASCAR. He is one of the most successful NASCAR drivers and is #17 in the richest drivers of NASCAR, lineup with a net worth of $45 million.
Born in 1956 in Arnold, Missouri, Rusty Wallace is a well-known name in pro auto racing and is most remembered for his time driving the #2 car. He is now retired and is a co-host with NASCAR Angels today, analyzing the races with Shannon Wiseman. His career is extensive and has put in a lot of time on the track. It started in the 1970’s when he won a couple of his local track championships. In 1979 he took home the United States Auto Club’s Stock Car Rookie of the Year award then went on to finish first in 1980 in his NASCAR race at the Atlanta 500 race. By the time Wallace retired, he had 55 Cup wins and had earned a net worth of $40 million. He is #19 on the list of the top 20 richest NASCAR drivers.
19. Ryan Newman
“The Rocket Man,” as Newman is referred to, has a net worth of $40 million which he earned from his tie driving the #31 Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing team, the Roger Penske #27 car, the #39 Impala for Haas CNC Racing, and his endorsements he has signed-on with over the years. He was born in 1977 and began his career in 1993 when he debuted in the United Midget Auto Racing Association and the All-American Midget Series and won both Rookie of the Year as well as the championship. He is a strong driver with several pole winnings and strong finishes. “The Rocket Man” took home the win at the Subway Fresh Fit 600 in 2010 after a 78 race losing streak at the Phoenix International Speedway and continues to be a strong contender in NASCAR.
20. Denny Hamlin
With a $30 million net worth, Denny Hamlin is #17 of the richest NASCAR drivers ever. He was born in Tampa, Florida but grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia. He is the driver of the #11 Toyota Camry and is a part of the Joe Gibbs racing team. He started his career by racing go karts at the age of 7 and new he loved the thrill. He worked his way up to Late Models and by 2004, he had signed on with JGR. He ran for a short while in the Craftsman Truck Series before he drove for a full season in the Busch season in 2005 in the midst of running a few Cup races. Hamlin’s best season to-date was in 2010 when he lead the Championship by 15 points before heading to the Homestead race, however, he wound up losing the Championship to Jimmie Jo that season. Hamlin is one tough driver and there is a lot more racing in his career and surely, more wins.