Johnson Sets Winnings Record

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During Friday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series banquet, champion Jimmie Johnson collected a point fund award of $6,785,982, bringing his 2006 season total winnings to $15,770,125 – a new single season winnings record. Johnson has won more than $44 million during his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career.

And that’s just the beginning.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup top-10 drivers shared $22,081,489, the largest top 10 point fund payout in series history. Each of the top 10 received over $1 million, and they weren't the only million-dollar winners at year’s end.

Eleventh-place driver Tony Stewart received a $250,000 bonus for finishing 11th and his total point fund award is $1,143,888. Stewart also receives $310,000 for winning three special awards – the Bank of America Card Services Mid-Race Leader Award, the USG Improving the Finish Award and the WIX Lap Leader Award – bringing his 2006 total to $8,739,169, the third-highest season total in the series.

Matt Kenseth, who finished second in the standings, received $2,841,047 from the point fund and $75,000 for the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award – to go along with his regular-season race winnings of $6,608,919 for a 2006 total of $9,524,966. It is $102,202 more than he won in 2003, when he was the series champion.

Sixth-place Jeff Gordon, the series’ all-time money leader, collects $1,495,574 from the point fund for a season total of $7,471,447. With this payout, Gordon’s career winnings now total $82,838,526.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup top 10 – those drivers who participated in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup – gain the greatest rewards for their efforts, but the point fund is shared among many more drivers, down to 30th place in the standings. In total, more than $30.4 million was distributed to the top 30 drivers.

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