Forbes has released its annual report on the value of Sprint Cup teams and driver salaries. Not surprising, both categories involve Hendrick Motorsports.
HMS has increased in value to $350 million, according to the magazine, making it NASCAR’s most valuable organization.
It also is the highest-funded organization in the sport from a sponsorship perspective, earning nearly $120 million from corporate partners, part of an overall $180 million in revenue, also tops among all NASCAR teams/organizations.
The only major category where HMS was bested was race winnings: Stewart-Haas Racing took home $26 million in prize money in 2014 to $23 million for HMS.
Forbes reports that the second-most valuable team in overall worth is Joe Gibbs Racing at $201 million, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year.
Stewart-Haas Racing, which has won two of the past four Sprint Cup championships, including last year with Kevin Harvick, is third on the overall team worth list at $186 million, according to Forbes – up 26 percent from the previous year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was estimated as the highest-paid driver for the seventh consecutive year. According to Forbes, Earnhardt earned $23.8 million in 2014. Driver earnings are based upon salaries, endorsements/licensed merchandise sales and race winnings.
The top 12 Sprint Cup drivers earned a collective $187 million in 2014, which is down from $192 million in 2013.
Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was the second-highest earner ($22.5 million), followed by Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon ($18.6 million), who is entering his final full-time season.
After Gordon on the earnings list are Harvick ($15.5 million), Denny Hamlin ($15.2 million), Tony Stewart ($14.4 million), Kyle Busch ($14.3 million), Danica Patrick ($13.8 million), Carl Edwards ($13.5 million), Kasey Kahne ($11.9 million), Brad Keselowski ($11.8 million) and Matt Kenseth ($11.6 million).