INDIANAPOLIS – It’s payday for the Indy 500 field of 33.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway handed out the prize money at the Victory Celebration at the JW Marriott downtown on Monday.
The total purse this year was just over $16 million becoming the largest payout in the race’s history, topping the $14.4 million awarded in 2008.
The biggest check went to the new champion, Marcus Ericsson, who earned $3.1 million for the victory, the largest winner’s payout ever.
“The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest race in the world, and these drivers lay it all on the line for a chance to drink the winner’s milk and kiss the famous Yard of Bricks,” speedway owner Roger Penske said in a release. “This year’s record-setting purse is reflective of their tireless pursuit of history and the world-class talent they display on every lap.”
Runner-up Pato O’Ward took home $1 million, the largest second-place prize in almost a decade.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion and four-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson won Rookie of the Year honors earning an extra $50,000 for a total prize of $207,900. Johnson qualified 12th and led two laps before a late crash dropped him to a 28th place finish.
The average payout for the drivers was $485,000.