The salary of a full-time employee of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race team ranges from about $150,000 to $240,000 per year. This is according to Bob Dorian of Salary.com.
But how much do these employees make exactly? Or for that matter, how much do the employees of any other professional sporting organization make?
We set out to answer these questions and more by crunching the numbers and coming up with an accurate figure for what a full-time employee of a NASCAR Sprint Cup team makes.
The Average NASCAR Sprint Cup Salary
Dorian reports that the average salary for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race team employee is $191,600 per year. This figure takes into account all roles, not just the driver or aero engineer positions.
This figure is interesting considering that NASCAR Sprint Cup race teams are typically not organized by a single company but rather a mixture of individual investors and/or partners who may have put up their own money as well as some of their more recent successful business ventures. This should give you some indication of the range these individuals can step out of their comfort zone and into the professional world of race teams and drivers in general.
What Is A “Roof Rat”?
Salary.com defines a roof rat as “a racing driver who spends most of his time on the track but sleeps in the car.”
While it is true that the vast majority of Sprint Cup racing teams’ drivers spend more time on the track than in the air and sleeping, it’s also true that these individuals need to get enough sleep to maintain their performance on the track. This explains why you’ll see many of them in the garage at night fixing things or sleeping.
How Do I Calculate “Race Weekend Pay?”
Each year, NASCAR teams’ schedules are arranged such that they appear at a set number of race tracks across the country. These are referred to as the “Race Weekend” tracks. Thus, if you are employed by a team that appears at a certain number of these race tracks, your pay will increase by a set amount for each track.
Let’s say for example that your team appears at Talladega Superspeedway twice a year. Your pay for each race will be enhanced by $16,666. This is referred to as your “race weekend bonus.”
How Much Does A NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Make?
If you’re a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, you can expect to make pretty close to what your team’s average employee makes per year. The exact figure depends on your team’s success. But even at the bottom end, you can expect to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 per year.
The main difference between a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and an average employee is the amount of time you have to spend on the track. If you’re on the track five hours a day, five days a week, it breaks down to about 20 hours per week. That’s almost half of what an average employee spends at work. So it’s not odd to see NASCAR drivers on the cover of magazines with headlines like “The World’s Most Beautiful Racing Driver’s” or “Richest Driver In The World.’”
How Much Does An Aero Engineer Make?
The salary of an aero engineer at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race team ranges from about $160,000 to $230,000 per year. This figure takes into account all roles, not just the driver or engineer positions. So if you’re an aero engineer on Richard Petty’s team, for example, your salary will include not only your wages but also your bonus for each Grand Prix he wins.
How Much Does A Manager Make?
Besides the drivers, the other key members of a NASCAR Sprint Cup racing team are its employees in various management roles. Managers of all types and levels make up the staff of a NASCAR team, from the heads of departments to assistant managers. The amount they are paid depends on their level of responsibility and what industry they’re in.
The figures below are based on the salary survey conducted by Salary.com for the Automobile Club of America. These figures are provided only as a general guideline and you should consult with a professional salary advisor before making any decisions regarding your career. The figures below do not account for additional income such as bonuses or any extra benefits that may be associated with the job.
How Much Money Do You Need To Cover Your Living Costs?
If you’re not making enough money, you’ll have to consider other sources of income. There’s no question that NASCAR racing is a expensive sport to join. You’ll have to lay out a substantial amount of money to be able to afford the training, equipment, travel costs, etc. Of course, the upside is that you can make a decent amount of money if you’re good enough.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to earn a living as a NASCAR Sprint Cup race team employee. It obviously isn’t a 9 to 5 job and it requires a significant commitment as much as any other sport. It is a great opportunity to work hard and develop your skills while enjoying what many consider to be the pinnacle of American motorsport.
If you follow these general guidelines, you will be able to make the right decision regarding your career path and advance to the next level with confidence.