Three Hendrick Motorsports drivers made the list of Forbes World’s 100 highest paid athletes. NASCAR’s most popular driver for nearly a decade, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who broke a 143 race winless streak last Sunday at Michigan, comes in 23rd on the list with total earnings last year on $28.2 million.
According to Forbes, $13.2 million came from salary and winnings and $15 million came from endorsements. The total is down slightly from the $29 million Forbes said Earnhardt earned in 2010 and the $30 million he earned in 2009. In 2008, the year Earnhardt began with Hendrick Motorsports, he earned $35 million.
Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon isn’t even close to Earnhardt; Gordon is 42nd on the list with earnings last year of $23.6 million. A third member of the Hendrick stable, five time champion Jimmie Johnson, came in 53rd with 2011 earnings of $21.5 million. MORE>>>