How much money do NASCAR drivers make?

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Lucas Oil 150
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Lucas Oil 150

While the NASCAR drivers wheezing past in their heavy-duty machines on the race-track may seem like a feat worth emulating, the fact that it takes immense will and skill to be able to do that is perhaps underrated.

And to pull off things which not many can do on a normal basis also makes it a decently-paying job.

NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500
NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500

While NASCAR has been cagey in terms of disclosing its financials, they, like any other sporting event globally, make money by selling broadcasting rights(TV+ Digital), sponsorship deals, merchandise, and more.

Whereas the drivers make money depending on their skills, wins, and longevity in the sport.

Having said that, a developmental NASCAR driver can pocket anything between $100,000 and $300,000 in base salary and another $200,000 in prize money.

NASCAR drivers don't have deals similar to that of a footballer or a basketball player, so they have to rely predominantly on winning races and making themselves marketable.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - TicketGuardian 500
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - TicketGuardian 500

While their earnings vary, a good year can also mean over $130,000 for a race if they finish at the top.

You add the endorsement money to that, and the figure is anything but shabby.

Through the purse split, the winner, on average, takes home $47,500 a race while the loser makes close to $8,500.

Kyle Busch became the highest-paid NASCAR driver when he won the 2019 Cup Series. He pocketed earning of $17.8 million from his salary, endorsements, share from winning, and licensing.

Denny Hamlin who won the $23.6 million Daytona 500 in 2020 reportedly pocketed approximately $2.06 million.

Also Read- How much money do NASCAR pit crew members make?

What does it take to be a NASCAR driver?

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Baptist Health 200
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Baptist Health 200

NASCAR has its own set of divisions before you can get to the premier national series.

The path to becoming a professional NASCAR driver may be long, but it can be well worth it.

First and foremost, one must attain a minimum age of 18 years and obtain a driver's license.

The next few possible steps can be getting used to go-karts and smaller cars before graduating to the bigger racing ones, taking part in local races, learning the mechanics of the car, and attending a NASCAR driving course.

Also Read- Watch: New NASCAR commercial featuring Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer

Pennsylvania 400
Pennsylvania 400

Getting an internship with NASCAR and passing the test to obtain the competition license can be the possible road ahead.

However, NASCAR is a costly business. In that context, one needs to be winning races and have the ability to network with people to land sponsor(s).

Along with that, being in top physical condition should be a way of life for a NASCAR driver.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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