With sponsorship dollars driving the sport, Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are at the top of the pile.
Forbes has released two lists reflecting the business of NASCAR: the richest drivers and richest teams.
Neither list is very surprising for anyone who pays attention to the sport. On the driver front, Dale Earnhardt Jr. topped the charts earning $25.6 million in 2013 by Forbes’ count, making nearly as much in endorsement deals ($11 million) as his winnings/salary total ($14.6 million). Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson comes in a close second with $24.8 million in total income but only $6.5 million in endorsements. Jeff Gordon comes in third with a cool $18.2 million while team owner and driver Tony Stewart brought home $17.3 million last year, despite his season-ending injury in 2013. Rounding out the top five is Kyle Busch with $15.8 million in earnings, who races in all three of the premiere NASCAR series as well as owns his own Truck team.
NASCAR's highest paid drivers:
1 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $25.6 million
2 - Jimmie Johnson - $24.8 million
3 - Jeff Gordon - $18.2 million
4 - Tony Stewart - $17.3 million
5 - Kyle Busch - $15.8 million
6 - Carl Edwards - $14.5 million
7 - Kevin Harvick - $14.2 million
8 - Denny Hamlin - $13.7 million
9 - Danica Patrick - $13.5 million
10 - Kasey Kahne - $12.6 million
NASCAR's most valuable teams
1 - Hendrick Motorsports - $348 million
2 - Joe Gibbs Racing - $171 million
3 - Roush Fenway Racing - $157 million
4 - Stewart- Haas Racing - $148 million
5 - Richard Childress Racing - $128 million