NASCAR star driver, Denny Hamlin, has bashed out NASCAR with claims that drivers are underpaid. In fact, he categorically stated that he expects NASCAR drivers to be paid as much as NBA and NFL superstars. He said this while attending a charity event with his sponsor, FedEx.
Hamlin made it clear that he himself is not underpaid but was talking on behalf of other drivers in the sport. With regards to this, he further said that the risk all drivers incur every week deserves to be acknowledged and well compensated for. Of importance is that all drivers risk equally and thus, the earnings should be in the same region as opposed to what we see now. Generally, NASCAR drivers take home seven-figure salaries which are quite low compared to NFL and NBA stars who range from eight to nine figures.
Forbes reported that Hamlin made $15.2 million in 2016 as the 3rd highest paid racer that year. It is worthy to note that there has been a drop in the highest paid racers income since 2013, a phenomenon that gives two perspectives. Either the sport is not doing well or at least, the earnings are being harmonised. However, this one is for sure, NASCAR drivers have no mandatory pay scale.
We learned that in the new lucrative $820 million a year NASCAR television deal that will run up to 2024, the track receives the lion’s share; 65% to be precise. Teams and drivers share the remaining chunk getting 25% and 10% respectively. In Hamlin’s opinion, racetracks are making a lot of money but are not investing it back in people. He said the crew team deserves better pay and working conditions. When it comes to sponsorship money, Hamlin said that the money ought to be bonus money for the team and not their main salary.
For now, we will have to sit back and see how NASCAR will respond to this. For more news and developments regarding this story, keep it right here!