You have got to be joking? I could understand NASCAR drivers worried about safety conditions, endorsements, sponsorship and ownership … but pension plans? In the multi-million dollar world of what is today’s NASCAR the mere notion of a pension plan within the industry is near lunacy. This is not your grand-pappy’s NASCAR.
Take a look at the 2006 standings and prize winnings for Nascar. The top 66 drivers all made six figures, while the top 44 were over a million in earnings. This does not even count endorsements. Could someone please explain why they would need an industry pension plan. Seems rather apparent that they could invest their own money.
At a time when nearly every other major sport has some sort of pension program for athletes past and present, NASCAR does nothing.
Drivers are beginning to wonder why. (Yahoo Sports)
NASCAR has obviously forgot where it came from and why people have flocked to it in droves away from basketball, football and baseball. GREED you idiots! A pension and health-care plan for past drivers that made your sport into what it is today who were never fortunate enough to cash in is one thing. However, pension plans for people who make more money in a year than most will ever see in a lifetime is a loser.
Please tell me that now the over-paid athletes of NASCAR are going to whine that they are not being helped out in their retirement as if they might have to do without. This, while NASCAR fans pay higher and higher ticket prices.
“It doesn’t mean that we need to be paid more in salary,” said Tony Steward, a two-time Cup champion. “But it’d be nice to see them take care of us after we race, or take care of the ones that came up before.”
The above comment coming out of the mouth of Tony Steward who has made the following in race winning alone, not counting endorcements since 2000:
7,285,280 – 2006
6,987,530 – 2005
6,221,710 – 2004
5,227,500 – 2003
4,695,150 – 2002
3,493,040 – 2001
3,200,190 – 2000 (Nascar.com)
If anything Tony, Nascar should be taking percentages off your winning and giving it to the drivers who made this sport when there were no such thing as millionaire car drivers when in 1975 when only 7 drivers made six figures and the top earner made about $285K.
In a sport that celebrates rugged individualism and personal responsibility, drivers are on their own to prepare for life after racing.
If NASCAR drivers think they are going to selfishly act like the rest of the over paid prima-Donna athletes of other sports, then you will see their fanbase leave their sport as well. NASCAR does represent something different to fans and the present day NASCAR “divas” are doing their best to ruin that image. I think you make enough to invest your money on your own. Take the same responsibility with your finances for the future as you do with a race. There’s a novel concept.