Pagenaud collects over $2.6 million for Indianapolis 500 win

INDYCAR Photo by John Cote
INDYCAR Photo by John Cote
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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.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”