Looking at this list definitely makes you want take up NASCAR racing.  Going fast and turning left can certainly pay off. This week Forbes named the sport's highest paid drivers in 2012 and you know who tops the list.

From the staff who gave you lists of the World's Highest Paid Athletes and the Richest People in the World, this week Forbes published its annual list of NASCAR's Highest Paid Drivers and Dale Earnhardt Jr. tops the list again. Not surprising given that all four of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers are in the top ten. And if you have ever been to a NASCAR race you know first hand the long lines at Earnhardt's souvenir sales trailers. Add to that his combined salary, purse money and other off-track income such as commercial endorsements, Forbes estimates that Earnhardt's total earnings were somewhere north of $25 million last year.

The other Hendrick drivers listed were Jimmie Johnson at number 2 ($23 million), Jeff Gordon at number 4 ($18 million) and Kasey Kahne at number 9 ($12 million).

Danica Patrick like Earnhardt, has a lot of commercial endorsements and was listed at number 7 for 2012, but her popularity is growing and no doubt her merchandise sales will jump significantly this year.