Sunday night’s Verizon IndyCar Series championship celebration was a good one – it will air Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN after a re-air of Saturday night’s MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway at 8 p.m. ET. NBCSN lead commentator Leigh Diffey hosted the event.
Here’s the text recap from INDYCAR – I’ll put together more thoughts on the season, the celebration and in particular champion Will Power’s speech later in the week.
LOS ANGELES (Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014) – Less than 24 hours after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, Will Power got his chance to celebrate.
Power – along with other drivers, teams and manufacturers – were recognized during the INDYCAR Championship Celebration at Club Nokia at the LA Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles.
Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR, presented Power and team owner Roger Penske with a $1 million championship bonus check and replicas of the Astor Challenge Cup, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship trophy.
“It’s still sinking in really,” said Power, a first-time series champion. “When you want something so bad for so long, it’s such a relief when you finally get it. It’s exactly that – a culmination of 15 years of hard work to get to this point.”
In addition to the championship bonus, Power accepted the Jostens Champions Award, a ring valued at $10,000. He also won the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award and its $75,000 prize for winning the most races and the Verizon P1 Award for scoring the most points among pole winners.
Matt Jonnson, chief mechanic for Power’s No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, accepted the Verizon IndyCar Series Chief Mechanic of the Year Award. Jon Bouslog of Team Penske accepted the Team Manager of the Year Award.
Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport – HVM accepted the $50,000 Verizon IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, while Jack Hawksworth won the Tony Renna Rising Star Award.
Charlie Kimball claimed the $25,000 TAG Heuer “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” Award for advancing the most cumulative places during the season. Juan Pablo Montoya was voted favorite driver by Verizon IndyCar Series fans.
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, accepted the manufacturer’s award on behalf of Chevrolet.
Helio Castroneves of Team Penske was honored as the second-place finisher in the championship while Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing was honored for finishing third.
Verizon IndyCar Series award winners:
Championship driver (Astor Challenge Cup): Will Power
Jostens Championship Driver Award (ring): Will Power
Championship team (Astor Challenge Cup): Verizon Team Penske
Championship team sponsors: Verizon
Championship team manager: Jon Bouslog
Chief Mechanic of the Year Award: Matt Jonnson
Sunoco Diamond Performance Award ($75,000): Will Power
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award ($50,000): Carlos Munoz
TAG Heuer “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” Award ($25,000): Charlie Kimball
Second place championship driver: Helio Castroneves
Second place championship team: Team Penske
Third place championship driver: Scott Dixon
Third place championship team: Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Tony Renna Rising Star Award: Jack Hawksworth
Verizon P1 Award: Will Power
Manufacturers Championship: Chevrolet
Dan and Susie Wheldon “Make a Difference” Award ($1,000 charitable donation): Susie Wheldon
Verizon IndyCar Series Fan Favorite Driver: Juan Pablo Montoya