Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato earns $1.37 million from reduced purse

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Takuma Sato’s second Indy 500 victory was worth less than his first because of a reduced purse, but the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver still picked up a $1,370,500 winner’s check.

The 104th Indianapolis 500 paid $7,502,500 to its 33-car field. That was slightly more than half of the originally announced record purse of $15 million. The amount was cut because the track lost millions by being unable to have fans because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Even with the winnings chopped in half, IndyCar team owners have said they still needed the series’ biggest race held without fans to keep their organizations financially viable.

According to the Indianapolis Star, it’s the smallest Indy 500 race purse since 1991 and the lowest winner’s earnings since 2003.

For his 2017 victory, Sato had earned $2,458,129. Last year, Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud earned $2,669,529 from an overall purse of $13,090,536.

Scott Dixon, who finished second Sunday for the third time in the Indy 500, pocketed $505,000 after leading a race-high 111 laps. Third-place finisher Graham Rahal received $403,500, and Santino Ferrucci took $300,000 for fourth. Defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden earned $251,000 for taking fifth.

Pato O’Ward received $200,500 for his sixth, plus $50,000 for being named the 2020 Indy 500 rookie of the year.

The Indy 500 finishers will be honored in a one-hour special that will be available Tuesday afternoon on IndyCar Pass on NBC Sports Gold.