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Forbes: Hendrick Motorsports most valuable NASCAR team, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is highest earning driver

Earnhardt Hendrick top earners according to Forbes 2015

Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues as the highest-earning driver in NASCAR, while Rick Hendrick oversees the most valuable organization in the sport, Hendrick Motorsports.

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).

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