NASCAR's Highest-Paid Drivers 2019 vs. 2009

how much money our NASCAR drivers being

paid in 2019 some of these numbers might

surprise you how's it going y'all my

name is Eric and welcome to out of the

groove we're gonna have some fun today

it's a special show forbes release

they're like it's pretty much yearly a

list of the top ten highest paid drivers


they combine things like salary winnings

personal endorsement deals all that type

of stuff to kind of estimate the top ten

highest paid drivers in NASCAR now I

want to look at this year's 2019 this

was just released about a week ago and

these are all estimates because NASCAR

does not publicly discuss driver

contracts at least not details such as

how much money they're for and

everything so this is probably rough

estimates before was it's pretty

accurate this they've been doing this

for years now but I want to compare this

2019 list with some of the older lists

as well specifically 2009 I figure

that's about ten years ago let's see how

the 2009 list compares to the 2008 19

list because that might be interesting

but neither say I'm gonna run down this

list here look at the top 10 highest

paid drivers react to them and I just

will talk about let's see how let's see

how this goes so here we are

Forbes NASCAR's highest-paid drivers

2019 written by Kirk baby beaten Hughes

in Baton housing I don't know he's

apparently writes this article basically

every year so let's see here in this

article he does mention how driver

salaries and stuff like that have dipped

in NASCAR over the last decade or so he

mentions how now there's only one driver

in NASCAR who has a base salary of more

than 10 million dollars whereas 5 10 15

years ago there was a few more of those

in fact he says right here the top 10

earning drivers made a combined 116

million dollars this year which is 36%

less than what they made 10 years ago

anyway let's scroll through this list

number one not too surprising here

Jimmie Johnson 70 and a half million

dollars total you can see they've

estimated 14 million came from a salary

and winnings and another three and a

half million from endorsements and

licensing deals this is one Jimmie

Johnson's one of those guys who still

has a lot of deals with Chevrolet of

everything that set him apart from

others I am a little surprised to see

Johnson's made the most money in the

last year given that he didn't win any

races last year in 2018 was his worst

statistical year of his career it's a

little surprising but I mean he's one of

the few big big recognizable name

in NASCAR still around you know with

Jeff Gordon and Dale Jun and everybody

gone number two Kyle Busch not

surprising at all fifteen point eight

million dollars total still pretty good

amount of endorsement money there

he was basically the most dominant

driver most of last season in the Cup

Series didn't win the championship

obviously but this doesn't shock me M&Ms

Mars candy definitely a big in his camp

he signed an extension this year with

M&Ms Mars I think Interstate Batteries

this can continue to be kind of on the

car here and they're up for several more

years so Kyle Busch expect him to be

near the top of this list Denny Hulme at

number three kind of surprising I bet

that winning the Daytona 500 this year

maybe helped that I don't know how that

factors into these numbers but that

definitely would help that is I would

guess one of them if not maybe second to

the all-star race the highest-paying

race in nascar on the cups are you said

schedule Denny Hamlin's got a lot of

probably personal endorsement deals with

with FedEx for one FedEx being a huge

partner for Denny Hamlin his entire Cup

so his career but also with the Jordan


I don't heard Denny Hamlin kind of

humble brag before that he has Michael

Jordan's phone number on his cell phone

so having that connection to the Jordan

brand which was a part of Nike I'm sure

that's a that's a nice little deal kevin

harvick number four notice all the top

people on this list are older

established veteran drivers that's not

surprising I think a lot of the reason

we've seen a lot of young drivers jump

into these good rides right lately is

because they cost a lot less money

Alex Bowman's not making with Dale jr.

is making Erik Jones does not make it

what Matt Kenseth was making you know

it's so on William Byers not making Jeff

Gordon money I mean that's just the

truth neither is chase Elliott so it's

interesting that you know the remaining

star veteran drivers are still the ones

at the top of this list making the most

money you know you're not seeing Erik

Jones you're not seeing William Byron or

Daniel Suarez on here

Joey Logano at number Five's making 11

million dollars still that's not bad 11

million dollars for a year is right up

there with a lot of other major sports

I mean baseball players I don't know

with you what's the average contract in

Major League Baseball I'm gonna look

that up

average yearly salary of MLB player yeah

the average baseball player only makes

3.4 million dollars a year according to

Google at least how about NBA I'm sure

it's more yeah this is from Business

Insider three years old but it says the

average NBA player was making six point

four million dollars a year so you know

nice to know that the top NASCAR drivers

are still getting paid above average

compared to other major sports cuz the

NBA you know it's obviously more popular

than now

so good to see that at least and Logano

defending champion he should be getting

paid as well as a lot of these big boys

so uh good for him again I will compare

this list to the list from 2009 for

NASCAR because there is some pretty big

differences might be interesting but

I'll do it at the end

flying through here right now Brad

Keselowski at number six another guy

over 10 million dollars last year good

for Brad another veteran another former

NASCAR champion and it's cool they

mentioned this in this article because I

don't see this mention in a lot of other

places but Brad Keselowski did open up a

manufacturing company recently like he

started it he's like the founder

co-founder or something invested ten

million dollars it says basically

invested a yearly salary in Keselowski

advanced manufacturing so you can do

your research on that I remember reading

an article a few months about what they

do it's a lot like 3d printing and

manufacture stuff

do your own research on that one because

but it sounds very interesting it's Brad

Keselowski investing outside of racing

but he's using the money that he's got

from a successful career so far here we

go first quote unquote new face young

driver in NASCAR on this list number

seven chase Elliott most popular driver

of the sport is seventh is the only the

seventh highest-paid driver that's a

little surprising right there according

to this article it says his recent

contract extension helped the vault his

salary up into into the millions of

dollars range but also you see there his

licensed merchandise sales were highest

among all drivers last season

not surprising most popular driver

that's why his endorsement deals that's

why as endorsement licensing money is

two million dollars that's up there with

Kyle Busch and guys so no surprise there

the fans are funding chase Elliott

because of how popular he is little

surprised to see Kyle Larson appear so

high number eight

Kyle Larson he made nine million dollars

last year this is despite the fact that

he mentions in here the DC solar backed

out or you know they I just didn't pay

up or I don't know what happened I don't

know if they made any I don't know DC

solar paid any money last year I'm sure

they probably paid some money up front

but from the sounds of things Chip

Ganassi Racing and some other people in

NASCAR were kind of left hanging by them

and I'm surprised too because how many

races did Larson win last year zero

pretty sure was zero is this factoring

in his recent all-star race win it might

be that but I would boost these numbers

a little bit he doesn't get to keep all

1 million of those dollars he made but

I'm sure they would boost these numbers

a will you know maybe Chip connect he's

just paying him a really good salary so

he doesn't leave that team and go to

like Penske or something maybe maybe

that's what it is I have no idea number

9 Martin Truex Jr I'm sure he used to be

on this list I remember when he was the

furniture erasing a lot of people were

saying he was actually making a lot less

money than some of the other top guys in

NASCAR because furniture odors couldn't

afford to pay him top money and he was

still winning races and obviously won a

championship so nice to see Truex making

that money now he's with Joe Gibbs

Racing but I'm surprised to see someone

I track so far down this list maybe that

Joe Gibbs money hasn't kicked in quite


but seen behind like Kyle Larson a

little surprising to me I'll be honest

and number 10 rounding out the top 10

highest paid NASCAR drivers in the last

year Clint Boyer made 7.3 million

dollars Wow I think this is a perfect

example of you know kind of an older

driver a veteran driver who's been

around a while yes Senor Eddie kind of

making that money you know making that

you know he's been around a while he's

earned his money I'm a little surprised

guys like Ryan Blaney aren't maybe in

the top ten or Alex Bowman or Kurt Busch

even who won races for Stuart house last

year and as with Chip Ganassi now has

got that Monster Energy endorsements I'm

low surprised Kurt's not on here or

Almirola with that strong Smithfield

backing you know I feel like Clint Boyer

has a lot of unspun cert or you know

questionably sponsored races I see I

feel like I see Haas Automation on his

hood a lot of times yeah just a little

surprising me you didn't win a couple

races last year made the playoffs had a

good run made deep into the playoffs so

I can understand Clint Bowyer being

pretty high on this list and he is a

very familiar face to a long time to ask

our fans so okay I guess I understand

not too shocking there but there you

have it that is the top 10 those are the

top 10 highest paid NASCAR drivers from

this last year now I want to compare

this list to ten years ago a decade ago

2009 this was you know there's the Gen 5

error early car tomorrow and this was

back we stood a lot of big names in the

sport Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart Dale

Earnhardt jr. Matt Kenseth Carol Edwards

were racing in 2009 so Alyssa's gonna

look very different but I want to

compare the highest earners back then

with the highest earners today let's

flip it over right here and this is

actually written by the same a guy who

wrote the one for this year so he must

do this every year I suppose Kurt Kurt

Baden Heusen bad in housing whatever

however you say his name cool he does

this and everything but you'd think a

guy who covers NASCAR yearly would know

to capitalize all of NASCAR it's an

acronym he keeps spelling it like this

without just a capital n come on Kurt

it's NASCAR it's an acronym it's there

all caps he does this all the time in

Hawaii keeps doing this in these

articles it's hard to read kind of hurts

your credibility to be quite honest with

you but I

let's look at 2009 no surprise top of

the list

Dale Earnhardt units an angry looking

pic of Dale Earnhardt jr. never seen

that one well it shouldn't be too angry

he made 30 million dollars in 2009 and

now compare that to the highest-paid

driver from this last year Jimmie

Johnson we scroll back up Jimmie made 17

and a half million versus 30 million

made by Dale jr. just ten years ago now

if Dale jr. was still racing in NASCAR


I think he'd still probably be making

more than 20 million million he'd be

making more than Jimmie Johnson 17.5 I

would bet that however this does show

you how NASCAR has gone from kind of

being you know I sport that rivals me

thirty million dollars a year I mean a

lot of the top guys in the NBA top guys

in the NFL are getting paid thirty

million dollars you're like that's

thirty million dollar your salary is

right on par with the superstars of

other major sports so we've gone from

that to a little lower I'd still say

NASCAR drivers still get paid very well

Jimmy Johnson 17 1/2 million that's

still very good money for a top guy and

top Motorsports but it's quite the

decrease go quickly here no surprise you

know Jeff Gordon made 27 million dollars

that year scroll down Jimmie Johnson

made 23 million dollars in 2009 so

here's how a better comparison Jimmie

Johnson in 2009 in the middle of his

championship streak was making 23

million dollars a year 2018-2019 he's

making 17 and a half million dollars a

year only it's not a huge decrease a

decrease the obviou obviously a notable

decrease but not a huge decrease

especially given that Jimmy didn't win

any races last year whereas in 2009 this

was in the middle of his five straight

championship streak so not sure exactly

what to make of that but that is

interesting Tony Stewart 19 million

dollars and not surprising there number

five Carl Edwards this back knee still

drove for Roush never won a championship

Carl Edwards but 14 million dollars

making that making a good money so if I

compare these two lists again here

Jimmie Johnson making 70 and a half

million last year that would put him

fifth on this list he'd be ahead of Carl

Edwards here but he would be behind Tony

Stewart so the highest-paid NASCAR

driver in 2019 it would be making would

be the fourth or fifth highest-paid

driver back in 2009 so you know NASCAR

has dropped a little bit the money is

not quite as prevalent as it once was

that's not quite as significant of a

drop as I would have thought I'm

actually surprised looking at these

2018-2019 salaries I would have thought

the less drivers were making 17-18 than

I would have thought most drivers are


78 million dollars from base salary to

see guys like Johnson still making more

than 10 million from base salary

seventeen and a half total that's a

little surprising to me I'm actually a

little more optimistic than I ever

thought Kevin Harvick is at number six

he made 13 million dollars in 2009 what

did he make this year again he actually

made 13 point 1 million dollars so

actually you'd have a heart made

slightly more money is making slightly

more money now than he was in 2009 I

guess he's a better driver at least you

know winning more now than he did in

2009 but it's actually Kevin Harvick's

money went up that's it's interesting

the trends aren't as obvious as I would

have thought kind of Bush made 12

million dollars that year not too

surprising similar what he's getting

paid now kasey kahne made 12 million

dollars here kasey kahne he was a

popular driver we people graph you peel

I feel like people forget how popular

Kasey Kahne was Matt Kenseth made 11

million dollars in 2009 he was yeah he

was the Daytona 500 winner that year

that probably boosted those numbers a

little bit and Mark Martin Wow 2009 Mark

Martin was still making all a million

dollars that's what I'm saying veteran

drivers often will keep making good

money even well into their career so I'm

actually looks for I see Mark Martin

tonight who lost from the drive you know


where's Biffle at no Biffle was Denny

Hamlin not on this list how did that him

would go from not being on in the top 10

at all in 2009 - all of a sudden what

3rd in 2019 we did he Hammond was still

pretty good in 2009 I'm ok Wow Denny

that FedEx money just keeps getting

bigger I guess anyway I hope you guys

found that interesting I thought it'd be

fun to kind of look through that and

compare now that you've going Forbes

here they do have a list like this for

pretty much every year from the last

decade or so so if you want to go in

check it out yourself see how drivers

have maybe gone up or gone down

year-to-year cuz I think that'd be

really interesting but uh I just want to

compare you know one decade to this

decade and see kind of a big scale at

least how the money has changed

I know we've heard some drivers I know

Denny Hamlin's been pretty vocal about

the last couple years but how NASCAR's

business model needs to change how more

money that comes from the billion dollar

TV contracts needs to go towards the

race teams to help them out rather than

going to the tracks are going to NASCAR

itself but yeah it is just interesting

to see how driver contracts have changed

or how the money at least the drivers

are seeing has to have changed it's

obvious that I think going with some of

these younger guys guys we didn't see a

list for

you're like Alex Bowman or Erik Jones or

Daniel Suarez you know I think with Joe

Gibbs when rick hendrick when roger

penske makes these changes decides to

put some of these young guys in these

cars it's to save millions of dollars as

foreseen I mean look at this Jeff Gordon

was making twenty seven million dollars

in 2009 rick hendrick only had to pay

chase Elliott nine million dollars in

2019 that's that's significant

I mean sure chase alley is probably

bringing in less sponsorship so I don't

know really how to think of this there's

a lot of finances going around here but

I thought I'd be interesting to compare

hopefully you guys found that

interesting as well that's gonna do it

that's my show I have a special one-off

episode just wanted to look at these

lists and compare them with you guys

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like a week ago I wanted to do a video

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