Timing is everything
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|
|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|
*Only drivers on both lists.