(Photos from Tom Russo | Daily Reporter)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Josef Newgarden celebrated his first Indianapolis 500 win Sunday night.
He cashed in Monday at the race’s annual victory dinner.
The two-time IndyCar champ earned a record $3.666 million for the biggest win of his career, an increase of more than $500,000 over last year’s race winner, Marcus Ericsson. Newgarden’s win also extended Team Penske’s record total to 19.
Indy’s total purse of $17,021,500 also broke last year’s mark by more than $1 million.
Race organizers estimated more than 330,000 attended the race. It was the second-largest race-day crowd since 2000 though actual attendance figures are not announced.
“This is the greatest race in the world, and it was an especially monumental month of May featuring packed grandstands and intense on-track action,” Penske Entertainment President and CEO Mark Miles said in a statement. “Now, we have the best end card possible for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500: a record-breaking purse for the history books.”
Ericsson took home $1.043 million as the runner-up after coming up just short to be the first back-to-back 500 winner since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02. If the race finished under yellow instead of a final lap restart, Ericsson would have collected an additional $420,000 from BorgWarner. Ericsson is in a contract year with Chip Ganassi Racing and has said he would like to stay with the team.
Benjamin Pedersen continued A.J. Foyt Enterprises big month as he was selected as the race’s rookie of the year. He collected $215,300, including a $50,000 bonus for the award. Pedersen’s teammate, Santino Ferrucci, made the six-car pole shootout and finished third in the race — the best showing by a Foyt driver since 1999.
Ferrucci is the only driver who has completed all 200 laps and posted a top-10 finish in each of the past five 500s.
The average payout for Sunday’s race was $500,600, which also topped last year’s average by more than $15,000.