Ayla Agren’s USF2000 program confirmed with Cummiskey

Photo: Ayla Agren Racing

Ayla Agren will return to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series for a second season, and will join John Cummiskey Racing.

Like two of her other Team Pelfrey teammates from 2015, Agren is switching teams for 2016 (Nikita Lastochkin from Pelfrey to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, and Garth Rickards from Pelfrey to Pabst Racing. Luke Gabin is yet to finalize his 2016 plans).

The full release is below:

Norwegian racecar driver Ayla Agren today announced she will be back on the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder for the 2016 season. The talented 22 year-old will be competing with John Cummiskey Racing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered By Mazda.

“I am thrilled to have been given another chance to compete on the Verizon IndyCar Series ladder.” commented an enthusiastic Ayla. “Last year was a big learning experience with lots of ups and downs, and I am excited to put the experience to good use with John’s [Cummiskey] team” commented Ayla.

Agren, who won the 2014 F1600 Championship Series title, will be entering her fifth season of US racing after making the switch from European karting to the US open wheel racing scene in 2011.

Ayla’s new team owner, John Cummiskey, is thrilled to have the sole female driver on the Mazda Road to Indy in one of his cars for the 2016 season.

“I’m very happy to have Ayla race with us in 2016,” said Cummiskey. “She’s a past champion and race winner so she knows how to win and we’re looking forward to getting her on the podium in USF2000. She has faced many of these competitors before and knows how to get the job done. 2016 will be our best year yet on the Mazda Road to Indy as we have a full season under us already.”

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