INDYCAR Photo by John Cote
INDYCAR Photo by John Cote

Pagenaud collects over $2.6 million for Indianapolis 500 win

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INDIANAPOLIS – His incredible win in the 103rdIndianapolis 500 will give Simon Pagenaud immortality when his face is added to the Borg-Warner Trophy later this year.

Meantime, the Team Penske driver will have to settle for a check for $2,669,529 from an overall purse of $13,090,536 for his Indy 500 triumph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion from Montmorillon, France, captured his first victory in Indy 500 in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. He beat 2016 winner Alexander Rossi to the finish by .2086 of a second to score the record-extending 18thIndianapolis 500 victory for Team Penske.

Pagenaud took the lead for good on Lap 199 of the 200-lap race. He led seven times for 116 laps, becoming the first pole sitter to win since Helio Castroneves in 2009.

FULL INDIANAPOLIS 500 COVERAGE: All of NBCSports.com’s 2019 stories over two weeks in May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

“I’m looking forward to getting a Corvette,” Pagenaud said, referring to the fact he also gets the 2019 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car as part of his winnings. “That’s pretty cool. I get a Corvette, wine color, burgundy. It was meant to be I guess. I’m looking forward to that.

“I’m looking forward to celebrate with my peers tonight, see the car on stage. I think that’s going to be when I realize what’s happened. I look forward to going to New York tomorrow. We will see what we do there. I think there’s going to be quite a bit of attendance. I’m excited about that.

“My face on the trophy. Taking the trophy to France would be very special. That’s just because that’s where I was born. Obviously it would be a special moment.

Rossi, from Nevada City, California, earned $759,179 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda. He led five times for 22 laps, continuing his streak of leading in all four of his career “500” starts.

The 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner, Takuma Sato, earned $540,454 for finishing third in the No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda.

The 2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion, Josef Newgarden, earned $462,904 in the No. 2 Shell V-Power Nitro Plus Team Penske Chevrolet.

Rounding out the top five was 2018 winner and 2014 series champion Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, who earned $444,554.

Team Penske placed three cars in the top five.

Santino Ferrucci earned $435,404 for his seventh-place finish after starting 23rdin the No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda, including $50,000 for being named Rookie of the Year. Ferrucci, who led one lap, was the highest-finishing rookie among the six drivers making their first Indianapolis 500 starts this year.

“These guys did a hell of a job, and I had a hell of a race car,” Ferrucci said, referring to his Dale Coyne Racing team. “I think if it wasn’t for that unlucky yellow toward the end, with 65 or 70 laps to go right after we pitted, we could be drinking the milk.

“But I can’t complain. I mean, it is my best finish in the series, and it is in the Indy 500. This place is an intimidating enough as it is, and these guys did some of the best work I have ever seen.”

The Indianapolis 500 purse consists of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NTT IndyCar Series awards, plus other designated and special awards. Purse awards were announced and presented at the Victory Celebration on Monday, May 27 at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

Click here for the full Indy 500 box score with earnings for all 33 finishers.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.