When you think of NASCAR drivers, sponsorships and product placements leap to mind.
During the post-race interview, the winner inevitably manages to thank a bevy of sponsors, almost sounding like a “Saturday Night Live” skit as the driver says something like, “Well thanks, I couldn’t have won without such a good AutoLights/Coca-Cola/NAPA/Interstate/Lowe’s car.” That’s usually followed by a swig of whichever beverage sponsors that driver.
Jokes aside, that shows just how important sponsorships are to NASCAR. They are woven into the fabric of the race, and their logos cover the cars and tracksuits of the drivers.
How much are all those product placements worth for the drivers? Read on to see what some of your drivers make.
Elliott, the son of 1998 NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott, added his own Series crown to the family when he won the 2020 NASCAR Cup championship.
He has 14 race victories in his surging career and has appeared in video games and magazines.
Elliott, who has an $8 million salary from Hendrick Motorsports, made $2.2 million in endorsements in 2020. He has deals with Hooters, NAPA, Chevrolet, Valvoline and Untuckit, among others.
Kyle Larson entered the NASCAR scene in 2012 following a successful career as a dirt-track racer. Since joining Hendrick Motorsports, he has won 10 Cup series races, an All-Star Race and the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
Larson reportedly earns an annual salary of $8 million from Hendrick plus an additional $1 million in endorsements. His sponsors include Durst, Pristine Auction, JVI Group and Oakley.
The 31-year-old driver won the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series title, and his nickname of “Sliced Bread” tells just how highly regarded this driver is. Logano was the youngest-ever winner of a Cup race when he won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he was 19.
Logano’s primary sponsorship comes from Pennzoil in a deal that runs through 2023. He also has deals with AAA and Autotrader, bringing his total endorsement income to $1 million, to go along with $9 million in base salary.
Keselowski, 38, is one of a handful of drivers to win championships in the Cup Series and Xfinity Series. He earned the NASCAR Cup championship in 2012 and has 35 race wins at the top level.
Keselowski, who now drives for RFK Racing, earned $9.4 million in salary from Team Penske in 2021. Previously, while driving for Ford Monster Energy Racing, he earned $1 million in endorsements from Discount Tire, Miller Lite and Autotrader.
Martin Truex Jr.
TThe 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion, Truex Jr. is raking in $10.4 million in salary from Joe Gibbs Racing in 2022. He adds an estimated $1.1 million in endorsements to that, primarily from Bass Pro Shops and Reser’s Fine Foods.
Harvick, 45, won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship and the 2020 regular-season championship. In his long, storied career, he has won a Daytona 500 and three Brickyard 400s among his 59 Cup series career victories.
Harvick makes $10.9 million per year in salary under his current contract, which ends in 2023. in 2020 and an estimated $1.5 million in endorsements. He has deals with Rheem, Subway, Busch, Ford and Mobil, among others.
Hamlin sports high-profile endorsements from Logitech[x], FedEx, Toyota and Coca-Cola, but he also gets a chunk of his $1.5 million in endorsements from Nike’s Michael Jordan brand.
Hamlin, 41, has 47 career victories, including three Daytona 500s, but he is still seeking his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Busch, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, will earn $16.9 million in salary in 2022. Recent estimates put his annual endorsement earnings at $1.7 million.
Best known for his colorful cars sponsored by Mars Inc., maker of M&Ms, Busch also has deals with Toyota, Interstate Batteries, Skittles and over a dozen other companies.
The 36-year-old driver has won two NASCAR Cup titles and is the all-time wins leader in the Xfinity Series.
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Daria Uhlig contributed to this article.