At last night’s banquet to celebrate the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and honor the victor of the race, winner Takuma Sato took home more than $2.45 million, as part of the race’s overall purse of $13,178,359. The full IMS release is linked here.
Both the winner’s amount and the overall purse are down from last year’s 100th running. Last year, per IMS, winner Alexander Rossi earned $2,548,743 from an overall purse of $13,273,253.
The other bit of news that emerged last night – to some consternation on social media – was the news Fernando Alonso beat Ed Jones to Indianapolis 500 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, and the $50,000 that went with it.
Alonso starred all month, for sure, but a Honda engine failure resigned him to an unrepresentative 24th place result in a DNF. Jones, heavily overshadowed and under-the-radar, ended in third place after a strong month of his own.
Four criteria are established for the rookie-of-the-year voting: (a) the driver’s skill, (b) sportsmanship, (c) accessibility and conduct during the month, and (d) finishing position. Per IMS, each criteria should be considered the same as any other.
We hope to have more insight about that process and the resultant kerfuffle that followed on social media in the coming days on MST.