Top paid drivers

So Forbes has a list of the highest paid drivers in the sport.

No surprise that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is #1 in earnings, as he pulls in a lot of off-track earnings. Of his $25.9 million income, $13 of that came from off-track events.

Jimmie Johnson is #2, with $23 million, with a NASCAR-high of $8.1 million in race winnings earned.

So, there’s a general salary, race winnings, paid appearances, and merch. Great gig if you can get it.

Heck, Danica Patrick was #7 on the total income list for 2012, and she raced in only 10 races! I would guess that most of that is NOT prize money for finishes at the track.

Reports are that Patrick’s gear sales went up a stunning 350% since she won the pole at Daytona, so expect to see that she is the #1 paid driver in NASCAR by the end of 2013.

Sources: NASCAR’s Highest-Paid Drivers at Forbes.com

and

Danica Patrick Mechandise Flying Off Shelves, also at Forbes.com.

How very NASCAR

From Jayski:

Brad Keselowski revealed Tuesday he intended to fulfill a promise to buy himself a tank if he won the Chase for the Sprint Cup. After hearing a story from NASCAR TV analyst and former driver Wally Dallenbach Jr. about the joys of owning one, Keselowski began researching tanks over the summer. He hasn’t decided on a seller yet but wants a model “from World War II to the Korean War, something in that ’40s to mid-’50s era.” Keselowski, who lives in a house adjacent to Earnhardt’s 200-acre homestead outside Mooresville, N.C., has been trying to convince NASCAR’s most popular driver to buy his own tank. “I thought, ‘Wow, that’d be awesome,’ ” the Penske Racing driver said. “Obviously living where I do around Dale Jr., I thought it would be cool if we both got a tank and chased each other around in the woods with them. It’s kind of our deal. I promised myself if I won (the title), I would buy one whether Dale does or not. It was kind of a little bit of motivation, I’d say. I’m not one to buy trophies for myself, but I think a tank would be pretty cool. I want to put one together and have some fun with it. When I’m done playing with it, I’ll just park it in the driveway.”

Huntin’, moonshinin’, racin’. Sure, a tank fits right in.

But Wally Dallenbach? Tank owner?

Of all NASCAR drivers past and present, it’s Wally that owns a tank?

Half the turtles, Twice the Schmak at Charlotte

This week, we take note of a half-sponsorship, a less than half-hearted crowd, and the best 5 laps of any racing in the last month.

That, plus the Dale Jr. medical leave, Keselowski’s fuel issue, relative points, Fox contract extension, qualifying rule changes, and more!

Picks for next week:

Coach: Brad Keselowski
Rob: Denny Hamlin