The 20 Richest NASCAR Drivers Ever To Grace The Asphalt

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Accelerating to speeds of up to 200 mph, NASCAR drivers essentially put their lives on the line every time they hit the track. However, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is also second only to the NFL as America’s most popular sports franchise. So you can’t exactly begrudge the sport’s top competitors for the megabucks they earn. Here, then, are 20 of the richest.

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20. Denny Hamlin ($30 million)

Denny Hamlin began his path to a $30 million fortune in 2005 when he competed in the Busch Series for a full season, winning several Nextel Cup races along the way. Over the next decade he raced over 360 times with JGR, finishing ninth in the 2015 season. He has also proved that he is one of the good guys by donating millions to charity each year.

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19. Michael Waltrip ($35 million)

Michael Waltrip twice won the Daytona 500, but has since boosted his earnings away from the track. Waltrip is the brother of three-time NASCAR champion Darrell. Plus, as well as occasionally competing for Premium Motorsports, he’s published several books and also serves as a pre-race analyst and commentator.

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18. Jeff Burton ($45 million)

Like Waltrip, the now retired Jeff Burton has family in the franchise. Plus, he too has boosted his coffers by offering his expertise on the small screen. Yes, the man nicknamed “The Mayor,” who scored 21 Spring Cup Series victories during his career, was appointed color analyst by NBC Sports after the network decided to cover NASCAR once more.

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17. Kasey Kahne ($50 million)

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Kasey Kahne, 2014 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year, has achieved 17 Spring Cup Series wins during his career. Founding his own eponymous World of Outlaws race team also helped Kahne amass a $50 million fortune, while his involvement with the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation show he’s also happy to give something back.

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16. Cale Yarborough ($50 million)

One of the most decorated NASCAR drivers, Cale Yarborough achieved 83 victories in the NASCAR Spring Cup Series to place sixth on the all-time list. Plus, he won the Daytona 500 four times and picked up three consecutive National Motorsports Press Association Driver of the Year Awards. And as well as having $50 million in the bank, the 77-year-old is also one of only two NASCAR drivers to win the championship three years in a row.

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15. Kyle Busch ($50 million)

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Kyle Busch hasn’t stopped breaking records since bursting onto the NASCAR scene in 2003, and he’s pocketed a comfortable $50 million in the process. At 19, he became the franchise’s youngest pole winner in history, but he didn’t stop there. No, he went on to achieve the most wins across the top three series in a season, claimed the highest ever number of Xfinity Series victories, and he led his self-titled motorsports team to the Camping World Truck Series in its first year.

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14. Kurt Busch ($50 million)

Amassing the same $50 million fortune as his younger and arguably less volatile brother Kyle, Kurt Busch has also achieved his fair share of accolades since beginning his career in 2000. For instance, the 38-year-old has won 27 Sprint Cup races as well as the 2004 Cup Series Championship. Plus, in 2006 he achieved the rare feat of winning races in all three top NASCAR divisions.

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13. Greg Biffle ($50 million)

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Still racing as he approaches his 50s, Greg Biffle rose to fame after winning both the NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year Awards and Championship in quick succession. The veteran driver also achieved 19 victories in the Sprint Cup Series to accumulate a fortune of $50 million.

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12. Danica Patrick ($55 million)

As the most successful female in U.S. open-wheel racing history, it’s little surprise to see Danica Patrick making the list with a $55 million fortune. The 34-year-old is the first female to come first in an IndyCar Series and Sprint Cup Series race, and she’s also the first woman to finish in the top three of the Indianapolis 500. Plus, Patrick has increased her wealth with various modeling and advertising gigs.

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11. Carl Edwards ($50 million)

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Carl Edwards is renowned for backflipping his vehicle in joy when he wins a race, and he’s had plenty of opportunities to perform his signature move. Yes, the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series, the 2011 Sprint All-Star Race and the 2015 Coca-Cola 600 are just some of the titles that he’s picked up during a glittering career, which has helped him amass a $50 million fortune.

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10. Matt Kenseth ($60 million)

Matt Kenseth began his motorsport career in the world of speedway but built most of his $60 million fortune when he moved to NASCAR in the late ’90s. And the father of fellow racing driver Ross went on to win the 2003 Winston Cup Series, the 2004 International Race of Champions and the Daytona 500 in both 2009 and 2012.

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9. Richard Petty ($65 million)

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Richard Petty, who hails from a family of NASCAR drivers, has $65 million to his name but he would perhaps be even further up the list had he achieved his astonishing success when the franchise became even more lucrative. After all, the man nicknamed “The King” is a seven-time NASCAR and Daytona 500 champion. Plus, he’s won a record 200 races and finished in the Top 10 over 700 times – all of which makes him, statistically, the sport’s most accomplished driver ever.

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8. Mark Martin ($70 million)

Hailed as the best driver to never win a championship by ESPN, Mark Martin has placed runner-up an agonizing five times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. He does, however, have five IROC championships under his belt and has the second most victories in the Nationwide Series, while investments in a number of automobile dealerships have helped boost his fortune to $70 million.

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7. Tony Stewart ($70 million)

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Martin’s former boss Tony Stewart has an equal net worth of $70 million thanks to a hugely successful career in which he won the Sprint Cup Series as both a driver and an owner (of Stewart-Haas). The 46-year-old has five in total, and he is also the only sportsman to have won championships in both NASCAR and IndyCar.

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6. Kevin Harvick ($70 million)

Like Stewart, Kevin Harvick has also enjoyed NASCAR success as both a driver and owner and now sits on a $70 million fortune. The racing veteran, who started his career in his late teens, is a Sprint Cup and two-time Xfinity Series champion, and once owned an eponymous team that competed in the Camping World Truck Series throughout the ’00s.

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5. Dale Earnhardt ($70 million)

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Arguably the most famous driver in NASCAR history, Dale Earnhardt won 76 Winston Cup races and an all-time record of seven Winston Cup championships during a career that spanned over quarter of a century. Tragically, however, the man dubbed “The Intimidator” also became the sport’s most famous casualty when he fatally crashed in the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

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4. Ken Schrader ($75 million)

Now in his early 60s, NASCAR stalwart Ken Schrader is still going strong, competing in the ARCA and Camping World Truck Series. And alongside a lengthy and victorious racing career, the driver has also built a $75 million fortune far beyond that of his peers thanks to shrewd business investments in the likes of Missouri’s I-55 Raceway and Macon Speedway.

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3. Jimmie Johnson ($120 million)

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Former ASA driver Jimmie Johnson took five years to pick up his first championship title after moving to NASCAR in 2000, but then he just couldn’t stop winning. Yes, the 41-year-old became the franchise’s first ever consecutive five-time champion in 2010. He also added to his haul with further wins in 2013 and 2016 to equal Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty’s all-time record.

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2. Jeff Gordon ($200 million)

Jeff Gordon, the owner of Jimmie Johnson’s No.48 Chevrolet, has earned almost twice as much as Johnson during a career in which he’s come out victorious in both the Sprint Cup and Daytona 500 multiple times and placed third on NASCAR’s all-time cup wins list. The 45-year-old has also added to his $200 million fortune as the owner of Busch Series team Gordon/Evernham Motorsports and as a Fox NASCAR announcer.

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1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($300 million)

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. has far surpassed his late, great father’s wealth thanks to various business interests, such as media production company Hammerhead Entertainment, Alabama Motorsports Park and an eponymous automobile dealership. The man dubbed “The Pied Piper” is no slouch on the track either, having won both the Daytona 500 and the Busch Series twice.

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