Who was the most marketable NASCAR driver in 2020?

When it comes to motorsports, it’s all about marketing. Before these races can be won, sponsors must be in place and there must be a strategy to help promote the driver. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were all full of sponsors, earning significant additional income in their NASCAR careers. Who was the most marketable NASCAR driver of 2020? Was he a seasoned veteran or a young gunslinger?

Kyle Busch was NASCAR’s highest-paid driver in 2020, but not the most marketable

The field runs through Turn 1 to begin the inaugural EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix NASCAR Cup Series race on May 23, 2021, at the Circuit of America in Austin, Texas. (Photo by David J. Griffin / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kyle Busch made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2005 and has grown steadily since. He won two championships in his illustrious career, winning titles in 2015 and 2019. Busch has 58 Cup Series wins and 326 top-10s in 587 Cup Series races. He also holds the most wins of all time in the Xfinity series.

Last year he was the highest paid NASCAR driver. Driving Joe Gibbs Racing, Busch finished eighth in the standings. It was the first time since 2014 that he had finished outside the top four. He ended the season on a high note, finishing ninth or better in seven of the last 10 races of the year.

Bush’s base salary for the 2020 season was the highest of any NASCAR driver at $ 16.1 million. Add $ 1.7 more in sponsorship income, and it topped all drivers in terms of overall income at $ 17.8 million, according to Sportekz.com. His approval money, however, was third overall.

Who was the most marketable NASCAR driver in 2020?

Only two drivers finished higher than Busch in the approval rankings. In total, eight drivers raised over $ 1 million in endorsements alone. Two have passed the $ 2 million mark.

Chase Elliott finished just ahead of Busch in second place. Elliott was the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion. Son of 1998 NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott, Chase earned $ 2.2 million in sponsorships. Among its sponsors are Hooters, NAPA, Chevrolet, Valvoline and Untuckit. However, he was making $ 7.6 million less than Bush in terms of overall revenue, as his base salary last year was $ 8 million for Hendrick Motorsports.

The most marketable NASCAR driver last season was none other than seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, who also drove for Hendrick Motorsports, officially retired from NASCAR after the 2020 season. He had deals with Lowe’s, Chevrolet, Ally and Bank of America, according to Yahoo! Finance. Johnson’s base salary a year ago was $ 14.8 million, but he made $ 2.8 million in endorsements. His overall winnings were second behind Busch at $ 17.6 million.

Jimmie Johnson moved from NASCAR to IndyCar

Instead of trying to win what would be an unprecedented eighth Cup Series title, Johnson retired from NASCAR after the 2020 season. Johnson is tied with legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with seven championships. He decided to pursue his true passion for IndyCar racing.

“For me, I always wanted to be an IndyCar driver when I was a kid,” Johnson told Patrick during his Quite Intense Podcast. “I don’t expect the kind of success I’ve had in the Cup, but I’m really trying to tell myself, and of course the competitive side is going to come into play and I’ll be very sad this year, but the experience that’s really where my heart is, I’ve always wanted to drive one of those cars and be a part of this industry.

He said it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“Who really has this opportunity? ” he said. “Some of my heroes when I was a kid came and went (between Indy and NASCAR). You were one of the few who went back and forth. There were only a handful of people who were able to do it. the experience of both. Where I sit today is something that is really important to me. It is something that I am very happy to be a part of.

When you earn the kind of money Johnson made just from endorsements, you can go out and pursue any dream you want.

RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wasn’t a Gamer When It came to Getting Paid As a NASCAR Driver

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