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.
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.
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.
What does it take to be a NASCAR driver?
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.
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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