Tickets go on sale for IndyCar’s return to Watkins Glen this morning

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Verizon IndyCar Series will return to Watkins Glen International on Labor Day weekend and this morning, tickets go on sale.

Here’s the info of how to do it, along with the link to tickets here. The event runs Sept. 1-4.

Last weekend, and we didn’t get to it in greater detail, but INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Jay Frye and Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup explained how quickly this deal came together for the Sept. 4 race.

“The process was pretty quick. We can’t thank Michael and his whole staff at Watkins Glen for their yeoman-like effort the last couple weeks,” Frye said.

“We got the news a couple weeks ago that something was going on, and that might have been around 5:00, and by 5:01 I was talking to this gentleman on the phone, and from that it kind of led a life of its own.

“It certainly was great interest on his behalf, great interest on our behalf. We were thinking more about 2017, but obviously we’re a year ahead. All the rumors, all the enthusiasm that we saw from the rumors was going on was very, very high, so we couldn’t be more pleased to go back to Watkins Glen. It’s a great facility, great history, and again, we can’t thank Michael and his staff enough for being willing to do this on such short notice. So far, so good.”

Printup added, “Friday night at 5:01, it was an awesome moment. I can tell you that. I was really excited to hear from Jay, and like he said, we had met earlier in Phoenix. I was out there on business, and Jay and I and Stephen sat down, and I have to say the same thing about his team.

“Jay and I took one or two phone calls over the weekend, we had a follow-up even Friday night at like 9:00 that night, we exchanged a couple emails Saturday and Sunday, and we didn’t talk again for like another week because we handed it off, or week and a half. We handed it off to our teams, and the teams really put the deal together. Jay and I obviously were the cheerleaders and champions on both sides. I know that. But both our teams really are responsible for putting this together, so we couldn’t be more proud.

“This belongs at Watkins Glen International. Scott and I had a moment just prior to walking in here, it’s so nice to see. It’s so great to walk around here and feel the electricity here. Can’t wait to do it again up in Watkins Glen, and like he said, it was just an awesome time working with Jay and the team, and we couldn’t be happier. In less than two weeks putting together a major motorsports deal? I’d like anybody to beat that. I wouldn’t want anybody to beat it, because Jay and I own it.”

Printup wanted to thank New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his efforts and help in supporting the event.

“First of all, I have to back up and thank our governor. Our governor was also instrumental, has been very supportive, the first governor in our recollection of owning that track to be instrumental in motorsports,” he said. “We all want our governors in every municipality to support us, but our governor already called this morning and said when can we do a driver gig, when can we do a PR thing. That’s huge, and I just called him this morning and he called back within an hour. His team called back within an hour. So that’s awesome.

“So we’re on the right track. It’s going to be a lot of fast promotions. We’re going to be putting the plan together quickly, and then we’ll get in market. That’s the key, and we’ll be out there.

“I think the opportunity that we have is — I know the opportunity that we have is we have a lot of racing. We have IMSA coming into June; our Cup drivers are coming in August. So our in-market advertising is there. We’re just going to continue the program all the way through — and I wouldn’t be surprised if the governor steps up and helps us do that. He’ll already do it with an appearance, but we’ll see what else he can do in helping us promote it.”

Printup also hailed why Labor Day weekend is likely to be a better weekend compared to the previous fourth of July weekend.

“That was tough. I was never a fan, though I wasn’t in charge when it came, of 4th of July. You have eight weeks to plan your family events, and everybody knows September — it just didn’t work,” he said.

“I definitely see that from a fan attendance and a corporate backing. September being the last weekend, kids are back in college, so we’ve got all that.

“This is going to be our first major race since IndyCar did it back in the mid-2000s, and then we have college back. So we have Cornell right up the street, we’ve got University of Buffalo. We’ve got some big schools, Rochester. We’ve got hundreds of thousands of students now that we can also integrate into the sport because they’re in school.

“So I think that’s another major marketing advantage that we’ve never had before with IndyCar or not exploited, so we’re going to exploit that, so I think September fits in just perfect with this date.”

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