Jeff Gordon’s meteoric run to the top of NASCAR not only helped propel the sport onto the national stage.
It also helped him and his fellow drivers make a lot of cash.
Over on CNBC.com, Eric Chemi has put up a fascinating piece of data journalism that looks at Gordon and NASCAR’s respective rises through on-track earnings.
Here’s a telling excerpt from Chemi’s story on how NASCAR’s prize money has grown in Gordon’s career:
When Gordon competed in his first race in Atlanta in November 1992, the winner that day took home a relatively measly $93,600. The entire total payout for that race, for ALL drivers combined, was just $641,000.
That pales in comparison to the numbers seen in NASCAR’s most recent race, the 2014 season-finale two months ago at Homestead. In that race, the winning car by itself took home nearly $350,000, while the entire field was paid almost $5 million. That’s an average growth rate of ten percent per year—better than the stock market’s performance during that time.
Times have changed for America’s most popular motorsport. And for those that compete in it, wallets have certainly gotten fatter.
Chemi’s story also breaks down how Gordon has raked in almost $150 million in on-track earnings over his career (and that’s not counting his off-track endorsement deals). Additionally, it reveals which driver may be on his way to hitting the $200 million mark one day.