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.

Top Fuel driver Austin Prock earns 2019 NHRA top rookie honors

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Having just completed a promising first year in NHRA Top Fuel competition, Austin Prock is on the road to even greater drag racing success in his career.

That’s why it’s not surprising that Prock was named the winner of the 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award during Monday night’s annual NHRA Awards dinner at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Road to the Future Award is NHRA’s version of Rookie of the Year, and Prock was among the brightest young stars on the circuit this past season, including winning his first national event at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle, the 16th race on the 24-race schedule.

What made that first win all the more sweeter is it came at the same event that his boss, legendary 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, captured his milestone 150th career win.

One month ago, Prock set a personal best run of 3.688 seconds at 334.40 mph over veteran driver Doug Kalitta in the first round of eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals three weeks ago in Ennis, Texas (suburban Dallas).

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together,” Prock said in a media release. “My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight (president of John Force Racing). They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

Prock became only the 10th rookie in the history of the NHRA pro ranks to both win a race in their first season and also go on to win the Road to the Future award. He also was the 13th rookie in the sport’s history to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoffs.

Prock becomes the sixth John Force Racing driver to earn the Road to the Future Award, joining Tony Pedregon (1996), Hight (2005), Ashley Force-Hood (2007), Mike Neff (2008), Courtney Force (2012) and Brittany Force (2013).

Austin Prock is the son of veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock, who tuned Hight to his third career NHRA Funny Car championship this past Sunday.

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