Most people probably don’t look at NASCAR drivers and think they should make more money.
Denny Hamlin, however, thinks drivers aren’t being fairly compensated. Furthermore, he thinks they should make money closer to what athletes in the United States’ four major sports make.
“We’re way underpaid as race car drivers,” Hamlin said ahead of Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, via ESPN. “There’s no doubt, doing what we do, the schedule that we have and the danger that we incur every single week, NASCAR drivers should be making NBA, NFL money.”
This might be a shock to some, seeing as Hamlin recently built a customized, 30,000-foot home in North Carolina, according to Digital Trends. But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver isn’t so much complaining about his own pay, but rather the way all drivers are compensated, relative to other professional athletes.
“I’m sure this will be in some headline somewhere where Denny says drivers aren’t paid enough, but I’m basing it off all other sports,” Hamlin said. “I’m including the back half of the field — those drivers are risking the same amount I am and they should be paid a hell of a lot more.”
NASCAR, of course, isn’t really an apples-to-apples comparison to the likes of the NBA, MLB or NHL.
But this type of argument often is brought up in the defense of NFL players who, like NASCAR drivers, truly put their lives on the line every time they compete.
Still, when you have Landon Cassill reportedly making at least $500,000 in 2013, a year in which his average finish was 32 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, it’s going to be tough for drivers to find any sort of sympathy from the outside world.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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