April 11 in Motorsports History: Barber welcomes IndyCar Series


The South might be traditionally associated with NASCAR racing, but just outside Birmingham, Alabama, is a picturesque 16-turn road course that firmly has established itself as a staple of the IndyCar calendar.

Barber Motorsports Park opened in 2003, and the IndyCar Series first conducted test sessions at the facility in October 2007 and March 2009. On June 27, 2009, it was announced that the facility would be added to the IndyCar calendar in 2010.

Helio Castroneves celebrates after winning the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)

The April 11, 2010 race at the facility was an immediate success with an estimated crowd of 55,000. Will Power won the pole position and was seeking his third consecutive victory after winning at Sao Paulo and St. Petersburg.

However, it would be Power’s teammate celebrating. Helio Castroneves took the lead from Marco Andretti with nine laps remaining and held off Scott Dixon in a two-lap dash to the finish to collect his first victory of the season.

Castroneves’ victory was the 23rd of his career, and he passed Emerson Fittipaldi as the winningest Brazilian in IndyCar history.

The victory was also his first as a father. In an emotional moment, he held his daughter, Mikaella, in victory lane.

“I want her to share this moment with me,” Castroneves told Versus following the race. “I wanted it sooner than later, and she’s certainly here.”

Castroneves went on to win twice more in 2010 and finished fourth in the points standings.

Also on this date:

1993: Ayrton Senna won the European Grand Prix at England’s Donington Park circuit. Driving from fifth to first in the opening lap, Senna dominated the 76-lap event, winning by a margin of 1 minute, 29.199 seconds over Damon Hill.

1999: Mika Hakkinen won the Grand Prix of Brazil at Interlagos, the first of five victories in his championship season.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter @michaele1994

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