Power: Two down, two to go en route to a perfect month of May (VIDEO)


INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power said after his pole position on Friday, ahead of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, that he wants to finish in four sessions in the month of May.

Those sessions are in order: Grand Prix qualifying, Grand Prix race for the Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 qualifying and Indianapolis 500 race.

Power’s a perfect two-for-two to kick off the month.

After securing the pole on Friday with a new track record lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Power dominated Saturday’s race en route to his first win of the year, which seemed only a matter of time before he finally got on the scoreboard for the season.

Power led 65 of 82 laps and also held off the advances of Graham Rahal, who yet again put in a dynamic drive for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the single-car team up against the might of the four-car Team Penske brigade.

“Yeah, that was as good as you get as far as no mistakes, good start, good restart, good stops, good out-laps, good in-laps. Just did everything we needed to do to win,” Power said post-race.

“I think back, I can’t think of anything that I felt was wrong with that race. You don’t often get that in IndyCar. So, yeah, it was a very good day.”

It was a day that is part of Power’s month of May motivation for 2015, as he now seeks to check the next box on his resume.

Power’s been one of North American open-wheel racing’s best drivers since his full-time arrival in Champ Car in 2006, and particularly since he joined Team Penske in 2009 on a part-time basis before his full-time team appointment in 2010.

But thus far it’s been the month of May that has eluded him.

Power finished fifth in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, his career best in the race, as a then-third car part-time alongside teammates Helio Castroneves (last race winner) and Ryan Briscoe. He had a car he thought could have won in 2010 but didn’t achieve the win.

A year ago, Power finished eighth after a drive-through penalty served as an unforced error.

The Australian is determined to overcome that past frustration this year.

“It’s funny, I came in this month determined to have a good month,” Power said. “I haven’t had that for so long. It’s working out. It’s just awesome to win at this place. It just is. I mean, you know, you look at the event, you look at the facility itself, it’s first class. The road course is phenomenal. It’s smooth, technical. Then you have the Cathedral of Speed, you could call it. It’s just an unbelievable month for motorsport.

“2009 and ’10 were years I felt I had a car to win it. Especially 2010, it was an unbelievable car. Just something would happen every time. The last couple years, last year was my mistake getting a drive-through penalty. I have to put myself in that position to challenge at the end of the race. I’m really determined to do that this month. I really want to get it right and win that race.”

Power’s set himself up nicely to do just that on the strength of an overdue first win this year achieved on Saturday.

It remains to be seen whether he follows it up and completes IndyCar’s first month of May IMS “double.”

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