Car Racing is one of the most intense and lucrative sports in the world. Not only do race car drivers attract large fan bases but are also paid handsomely. Humans have long been addicted to racing due to the adrenaline rush the sport provides. Races date decades back, from the moment humans started to ride the backs of animals, races have been a part of our society. Stay glued as we compile the list of Top 10 Highest Paid Race Car Drivers.
Top 10 Highest Paid Race Car Drivers
10. Denny Hamlin ($15.1 million)
Our golden list of Highest Paid Race Car Drivers starts with Denny Hamlin at position 10. He is a full-time racer with Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series while also being a part-timer in Xfinity Series. He also made his way up to become the 2016 Daytona 500 winner along with wins like 2015 Sprint All-Star Race, 2014 Aaron’s 499, 2010 Southern 500, Sprint Unlimited winner (three times) and Budweiser Duel winner (twice).
Hamlin was a promising rookie when he started out, he went on to win 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 ($15.5 million.)
Positioned at number 9 of our list of Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Kevin Harvick. He currently drives as a stock car racer for Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Hass Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Kevin can also be found driving part-time in the Xfinity Series. He has to his name a winning title for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and two times Xfinity Series Champion.
With 46 wins, the talented racer also has the third-highest wins in Xfinity series and also has the all-time record for cup win at Phoenix International Raceway with 8 wins. With a great run to his name, no wonder he is one of the top paid stock car racers with an income of $15.5 million.
8. Nico Rosberg ($19 million)
positioned at number 8 in of our Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Nico Rosberg. He is hugely underrated, this id due to presence of racers like Vettel, Alonso, and Hamilton. notwithstanding Nico is one of the best racers on record who managed to finish at the 2nd place last year and has currently made his way to the first position in F1 Championship 2016 ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 26 points.
His dual citizenship has availed him the opportunity to race for both Finland and Germany. Though in earnings he raked in $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 ($21.6 million)
Positioned at number 7 in our list of Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Jeff Gordon. We consider him a veteran racer as he is currently 45 years old . One of the greats of the modern era of NASCAR, he made his way up to 3rd position on all-time Cup wins list with 93 wins. He is also a four-time Sprint Cup Champion and won the Daytona three times.
Gordon never fails to appear in the lists of greatest NASCAR racers of all time, not only because of his achievements but also his resilience. Even at the twilight of his career, the incredible racer has raked in $21.6 million last year. He is one of the top 10 race car drivers of all time.
6. Jimmie Johnson ($22.2 million)
Positioned at number 6 in our Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Jimmie Johnson. He is popular in the stock car racing industry and six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. He is till date the only driver in NASCAR history to win 5 consecutive championships.
In the year 2013, Johnson 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. ($23.5 million)
Positioned at number 5 in Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Dale Earnhardt Jr. A blooded racer in our opinion, considering that his father Dale Earnhardt is NASCAR Hall of Famer and is one of the most controversial athletes of the racing world. Earnhardt definitely s one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time and thus has bagged the Most Popular Driver Award thirteen times consecutively from 2003-2015.
Dale has had his fair share of success at the Daytona International Speedway that earned him the moniker of “Pied Piper” of Daytona. He has also gone on to win the Daytona 500 twice. In earnings he has raked in 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 ($27 million)
Positioned at number 4 in our Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Kimi Raikkonen. He has always been one of the big earners of the racing world. Raikkonen won the Championship back in 2007 in his first season with Ferrari and was reportedly paid a wage of $51 million a year! That made him climb to the 26th highest-paid celebrity in 2008 and the 5th highest paid sportsman in the world.
An obvious reason why 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 earn him our number 4 spot.
3. Sebastian Vettel ($32 million)
Positioned at At number 3 is Sebastian Vettel. At 29 years old, Vettel has already made his way up the list of all-time greats of F1 racing. Among his sensational records for such a young person are: youngest to take part in an official practice session of 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.
Vettel enjoyed a period of unprecedented success when he won four F1 World Driver Championships consecutively. This has earned him a spot as the fourth person to ever win four or more championships. He has earned a reported $32 million last year making him one of the top paid race car drivers.
2. Fernando Alonso
Positioned at number 2 in our Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Fernando Alonso. A racer of Spanish descent is one of the best F1 racers in the world. He first took to the wheels when he was three and got into kart racing and won three consecutive championships.
Alonso was only 22 years old 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 position 1 and the winning spot in our Highest Paid Race Car Drivers is Lewis Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton is a man of great talent probably one of the best-known race car drivers in the world and for obvious reasons. It is no surprise that his track records has positioned him in becoming the highest-paid F1 driver. With a paycheck of $36 million and a further 3 million in endorsements, his earning are off the charts.
Hamilton has 84 wins, 151 podium finishes and three championships to his cap in his rather successful career. Hamilton in our words 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.”
That’s it with our Top 10 Highest Paid Race Car Drivers in the world.