How are NASCAR drivers paid

The 15 most paid racers in the world right now

Editor in Chief: Emily_Wilcox, email

Racing is an exciting adrenaline rush for spectators and drivers. Every time a driver gets into their car, they risk their life. We all remember the spectacular, fiery accidents that put an end to some of the best careers on the racetrack. Whether NASCAR or Formula 1, racing drivers earn a lot of money. The top drivers in Formula 1 do more than the best NASCAR drivers. There aren't a ton of full-time racing car driving jobs, so those who manage to secure one and rise to the top of their sport are well paid. Let's take a look at the top 15 highest paid racers in the world.

# 15. Kimi Raikkonen

Series:formula One

Salary and Income: $ 7 million

Kimi Raikkonen drives for the Scuderia Ferrari team. It's been a decade since his only Formula 1 championship. He's been struggling to finish well lately. His best result was in July when he finished second in the Hungaroining.

Rick Diamonds / Getty Images

# 14. Danica Patrick

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 7.2 million

Danica Patrick drives for the Stewart-Haas Racing Team. She is one of NASCAR's highest-paid drivers, despite not finishing in the top five in any race in the past five years.

# 13. Valtteri Bottas

Series:formula One

Salary and Income:$ 8.5 million

Valtteri Bottas drives in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team. This is his first year with the team and he's had a good year. Bottas prevailed in Austria and Russia. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

# 12. Brad Keselowski

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income: $ 9.6 million

Brad Keselowshi drives for the Penske team. Keselowski won the NASCAR 2012 Cup Series early in his career, his third full season in the sport. This victory catapulted him into the elite of NASCAR drivers.

# 11. Joey Logano

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 9.7 million

Joey Logano drives for the Penske team. Logano took an early win in 2009 when he beat Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch in New Hampshire. He was just 19 years old.

# 10. Kasey Kahne

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 9.8 million

Casey Kahne drives for Hendrick Motorsports. He took the biggest win of his career in 2017 at the Brickyard 400. That win ended a three-year losing streak of victories.

# 9. Matt Kenseth

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 10.2 million

Matt Kenseth drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. He is one of the most decorated drives with 38 cup wins. He won the championship in 2003 and has two wins at the legendary Daytona 500.

# 8. Kevin Harvick

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 10.9 million

Kevin Harvick drives for Stewart-Haas Racing. He is a past NASCAR Cup Series winner. Harvick is known for giving his opinion. Earlier this year, he blamed the massive popularity of Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the sports failure to draw a larger following.

Geoff Burke / Getty Images

#7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 13.4 million

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Drives for Hendrick Motorsports. He is the son of the legendary Dale Earnhardt, who won the Cup Series seven times. Jr. has been NASCAR's most popular drive for 14 years in a row. He will retire at the end of the current season.

# 6. Denny Hamlin

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 13.4 million

Denny Hamlin drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin has won the race track more than 30 times. He is one of the best drivers in NASCAR, but has never won a championship.

# 5. Kyle Busch

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 13.5 million

Kyle Busch drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. He made his debut at the age of 19 in 2005. He has 40 career wins to date.

# 4. Jimmie Johnson

Series:NASCAR Cup Series

Salary and Income:$ 16.8 million

Jimmie Johnson drives for Hendrick Motorsports. He drove five consecutive NASCAR Cup championships from 2006 to 2010 and added two more in 2013 and 2016. Johnson is considered to be one of the best drivers in racing history.

# 3. Fernando Alonso

Series:formula One

Salary and Income:$ 34 million

Fernando Alonso drives for McLaren-Honda. He has won the Formula 1 series twice. Indeed, Alonso is the only Spanish driver to have won the Formula 1 Grand Prix in the entire history of the sport.

# 2. Sebastian Vettel

Series:formula One

Salary and Income:$ 38 million

Sebastian Vettel drives for Scuderia Ferrari. Between 2010 and 2013 he won four consecutive Formula 1 championships. He is considered the greatest German racing driver since Michael Schumacher.

Mark Thompson / Getty Images

# 1. Lewis Hamilton

Series:formula One

Team:Mercedes-AMG Petronas

Salary and Income:$ 38 million

Lewis Hamilton drives for Mercedes-AMG Petronas. He is the highest paid racing driver in the world and the richest athlete in the UK.