Timing is everything

Updated: February 14, 2005, 3:37 PM ET
ESPN.com

Quick, how many drivers in NASCAR's top 10 for all-time race victories also are in the top 10 for race winnings? It's a tough one, but we'll tell you: two. Only Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace crack both lists.

King Richard Petty, who with 200 career wins might never have his record broken, ranks 49th all-time for winnings at $7.7 million. Dale Earnhardt Jr. nearly made that much in winnings alone last year ($6.9 million).

And while most probably could guess that Gordon is the all-time career winnings leader, it's interesting noting that Dale Jarrett is second on that list. Where do Jarrett's 31 career victories rank on the all-time wins list? Nineteenth.

Better not tell Jarrett's dad, Ned. See, Ned won two season championships and had 50 career victories. But the unfortunate thing for Ned was the era in which he did it ('50s and '60s), as his career winnings were $289,146.

Maybe Ned already knows. It might be why he told us, "Nobody ever knew then you could make a living off this. It wasn't seen as an honorable thing [to be a race car driver] back then."

Different eras mean different retirement plans

All-time wins  

Driver
  

Career winnings

Driver  
200 Richard Petty $66,956,249 Jeff Gordon*
105 David Pearson $46,915,666 Dale Jarrett
84 Bobby Allison $46,128,359 Mark Martin
84 Darrell Waltrip $43,670,500 Rusty Wallace*
83 Cale Yarborough $41,742,384 Dale Earnhardt Sr.
76 Dale Earnhardt Sr. $40,843,154 Bobby Labonte
69 Jeff Gordon* $37,809,799 Terry Labonte
55 Rusty Wallace* $36,995,303 Bill Elliott
54 Lee Petty $36,120,592 Ricky Rudd
50 Junior Johnson
Ned Jarrett
$35,642,417 Jeff Burton

*Only drivers on both lists.