Dale Earnhardt tops Forbes list

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. once again is the highest paid driver in NASCAR, according to Forbes.

But NASCAR's most popular driver, according to the magazine's estimates, saw his total earnings drop from $28.2 million the year before to $25.9 million this year.

The $25.9 million is based on a $12.9 million salary and winnings and $13 million in endorsements. In just salary/winnings, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson ranks No. 1 at $16.3 million. His total with endorsements is $23 million, ranking second to Earnhardt.

Danica Patrick, in her first full season in the Sprint Cup series, came in at No. 7 with an estimated worth of $12.9 million from salary, winnings and endorsements.

Reigning champion Brad Keselowski rounded out the top 10 at $11.4 million -- $10 million of that in salary/winnings.

The top 10, according to Forbes:

• Earnhardt Jr. -- $25.9 million ($12.9 salary/winnings, $13M endorsements)
• Johnson -- $23 million ($16.3M salary/winnings, $6.7M endorsements)
• Tony Stewart -- $18.7 million ($12.7M salary/winnings, $6M endorsements)
• Jeff Gordon -- $18.1 million ($12.6M salary/winnings, $5.5M endorsements)
• Carl Edwards -- $13.7 million ($12.2M salary/winnings, $1.5M endorsements)
• Kevin Harvick -- $13 million ($11.5M salary/winnings, $1.5M endorsements)
• Patrick -- $12.9 million ($6.4M salary/winnings, $6.5M endorsements)
• Kyle Busch -- $12.5 million ($9.6M salary/winnings, $2.9M endorsements)
• Kasey Kahne -- $12 million ($11M salary/winnings, $1M endorsements)
• Keselowski -- $11.4 million ($10M salary/winnings, $1.4M endorsements

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