Earnhardt Jr. leads Forbes list of highest paid NASCAR drivers once again

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

NASCAR sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned $23.8 million last year according to a report released by Forbes Wednesday. It marks the seventh straight year Earnhardt has led all NASCAR drivers in earnings. Earnhardt was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver for the 12 straight year only adding to his endorsement deals with corporations such as Chevrolet, Wrangler, and Goody’s. Nationwide Insurance dropped its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s second tier National touring series and now shares primary sponsorship of Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevy. Another value added item came from sales of die-cast. Lionel Racing reported that five of the top selling die-cast cars led by a model of Earnhardt’s 2014 Daytona 500 winning car. In all, $14.8 million of Earnhardt’s income came from salary/winnings while $9 million came from licensing and endorsement deals.

As for the rest of the top 12 in earnings, Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson ($22.5 million) and Jeff Gordon ($18.6 million) are second and third on the list respectively. 2014 Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick ($15.5 million) is fourth and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin ($15.2 million) round out the top five. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.