Kyle Larson finishes runner-up for third time in 2014, but knows first Cup win is coming


For the third time this season, Kyle Larson finished runner-up in a Sprint Cup race, once again depriving him of his first win in NASCAR’s premier series.

But Larson, who finished second in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, doesn’t seem overly concerned.

He knows his first win is coming.

“Another second, but you can’t be too disappointed in that,” Larson told ESPN. “The wins are going to be coming, so I just have to be patient. Every time I’ve been in the top 3 or getting close like this, it’s going to make the win feel that much better.”

Sure, it may be frustrating to come so close yet again – that includes five other top-five finishes for a total of eight in the first 30 Cup races in his rookie season – but Larson is maintaining an even keel about it all.

He can take some consolation that he gave race winner Joey Logano everything he could handle in the closing laps, but just came up a bit short.

“I don’t know if he was any better than us or we were better than him,” Larson said. “I thought we were pretty equal. We were running the same laps (times) the last run.

“Our Target Chevy was really good. … It’s a good finish. We were just so even, I couldn’t do anything, but I couldn’t get a run on him in traffic.”

Later in a post-race press conference in the infield media center, Larson further dissected his late run with Logano.

“I stayed within probably six or seven car lengths for 10 to 12 laps, and once I got closer, I got pretty loose,” he said. “So I was trying to run even closer to the wall to get some of that air out of my rear spoiler.

“It was still too loose. I don’t think there was anything I could have done there at the end to get any closer than I did.”

Larson appears to be a shoe-in to win this year’s Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year over chief rival Austin Dillon. Sunday marked the 21st race that Larson has been the highest-finishing rookie.

“That’s kind of a goal we set out each week is to be the highest-finishing rookie and to be in the top 10, and the way we’ve been running, we want to be in the top 5 now every week,” Larson said. “We’ve beat Austin quite a bit in that.

“We’ve got a pretty sizable point lead in the Rookie of the Year. I hope I can pull it off. I don’t see why I wouldn’t. It would be a great award for me.”

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Winner Josef Newgarden earns $3.666 million from a record Indy 500 purse of $17 million


INDIANAPOLIS — The first Indy 500 victory for Josef Newgarden also was the richest in race history from a record 2023 purse of just more than $17 million.

The two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, who continued his celebration Monday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earned $3.666 million for winning the 107th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The purse and winner’s share both are the largest in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Indy 500 purse set a record after the 2022 Indy 500 became the first to crack the $16 million mark (nearly doubling the 2021 purse that offered a purse of $8,854,565 after a crowd limited to 135,000 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The average payout for IndyCar drivers was $500,600 (exceeding last year’s average of $485,000).

Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske, whose team also fields Newgarden’s No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet, had made raising purses a priority since buying the track in 2020. But Penske but was unable to post big money purses until the race returned to full capacity grandstands last year.

The largest Indy 500 purse before this year was $14.4 million for the 2008 Indy 500 won by Scott Dixon (whose share was $2,988,065). Ericsson’s haul made him the second Indy 500 winner to top $3 million (2009 winner Helio Castroneves won $3,048,005.

Runner-up Marcus Ericsson won $1.043 million after falling short by 0.0974 seconds in the fourth-closest finish in Indy 500 history.

The 107th Indy 500 drew a crowd of at least 330,000 that was the largest since the sellout for the 100th running in 2016, and the second-largest in more than two decades, according to track officials.

“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 release. “Now, we have the best end card possible for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500: a record-breaking purse for the history books.”

Benjamin Pedersen was named the Indy 500 rookie of the year, earning a $50,000 bonus.

The race’s purse is determined through contingency and special awards from IMS and IndyCar. The awards were presented Monday night in the annual Indy 500 Victory Celebration at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

The payouts for the 107th Indy 500:

1. Josef Newgarden, $3,666,000
2. Marcus Ericsson, $1,043,000
3. Santino Ferrucci, $481,800
4. Alex Palou, $801,500
5. Alexander Rossi, $574,000
6. Scott Dixon, $582,000
7. Takuma Sato, $217,300
8. Conor Daly, $512,000
9. Colton Herta, $506,500
10. Rinus VeeKay, $556,500
11. Ryan Hunter‐Reay, $145,500
12. Callum Ilott, $495,500
13. Devlin DeFrancesco, $482,000
14. Scott McLaughlin, $485,000
15. Helio Castroneves, $481,500
16. Tony Kanaan, $105,000
17. Marco Andretti, $102,000
18. Jack Harvey, $472,000
19. Christian Lundgaard, $467,500
20. Ed Carpenter, $102,000
21. Benjamin Pedersen (R), $215,300
22. Graham Rahal, $565,500*
23. Will Power, $488,000
24. Pato O’Ward, $516,500
25. Simon Pagenaud, $465,500
26. Agustín Canapino (R), $156,300
27. Felix Rosenqvist, $278,300
28. Kyle Kirkwood, $465,500
29. David Malukas, $462,000
30. Romain Grosjean, $462,000
31. Sting Ray Robb (R), $463,000
32. RC Enerson (R), $103,000
33.  Katherine Legge, $102,000

*–Broken down between two teams, $460,000 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, $105,500 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports