The power of 3: Ricciardo finishes third in USGP, where “3” means more


AUSTIN – The number 3 holds great significance in the U.S. motor racing scene, and today was no different in the 2014 edition of the United States Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo – who has long been a fan of Dale Earnhardt, then interacted with Dale’s son and NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. throughout the year – took on the number 3 at the start of the year when driver number choices were introduced.

MORE: Watch a full replay of the U.S. Grand Prix

Then he delivered as good a result as was possible for the Red Bull-Renault on a day when the factory Mercedes and pair of Williams-Mercedes cars were the ones to beat: a third place, in car number 3, to end a three-race podium drought.

“Yeah, the 3, it is special, it is cool,” Ricciardo said post-race. “I’m such a fan of motorsports; NASCAR I’ve followed since I was very young. Watching Dale. It was my first go-kart number as well. So it was a no-brainer for me to choose the 3.

“To come here, what better way than to have the style of Dale on my helmet. Dale Jr.’s seen that, and we’ve spoken via social media a little bit. So it’s really nice he’s supportive, and cool to see it represented in Formula One.”

So how did Ricciardo make it into podium position, considering he started fifth and then had an admittedly miserable start?

Two quick overtakes, first on Kevin Magnussen on the opening lap before a safety car period and then another on Fernando Alonso after the restart, helped clear the way for him to get back to fifth and behind the Williams pair.

From there, strategy was the deciding factor in getting ahead of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

“I feel (the start) was my fault. I didn’t get the procedure right,” Ricciardo said.

“We had good pace. Williams were strong. I think we used good strategy to get ahead of them basically, and that paid off. We dropped a few places on the start, then got Magnussen into 12 and Alonso on the restart. I couldn’t hang with Williams at first but the longer the stint was the better we went. Mercedes was a bit out of reach, so third was the best we could do.”

That’s a true statement – Ricciardo was the only non-Mercedes powered driver within 95 seconds at the checkered flag. Fernando Alonso in sixth was 95.231 seconds in arrears of race winner Lewis Hamilton.

Third is also where Ricciardo will finish in this year’s driver’s championship, barring an unlikely turn of results for Bottas. Ricciardo has a 59-point gap to Bottas (214-155), while being 78 points back of second-placed Nico Rosberg.

Others have finished on the podium in the U.S. with car number 3 in the past, although that was frequently down to the team’s traditional numbers or the team’s previous year finish in the Constructor’s Championship.

Although mathematically eligible for the championship heading into today’s USGP, Ricciardo has now been officially eliminated from that.

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