Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson earns $3.1 million from a record purse of $16 million

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INDIANAPOLIS — Marcus Ericsson earned $3.1 million for his victory in the 2022 Indy 500, which featured a record purse of $16 million that nearly doubled last year’s prize-winning total.

Ericsson earned the largest winner’s payout in the race’s history. The 106th Indianapolis 500 drew a crowd estimated by the track at more than 325,000 as Indianapolis Motor Speedway returned to full capacity for the first time in three years. The purse was an increase of more than 80 percent over the prize money from the previous year.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Indy 500 was limited to 135,000 fans and offered a purse of $8,854,565. That was up slightly from the $7,502,500 purse ($1.37 million to winner Takuma Sato) for the 2020 Indy 500, which was held without fans in attendance for the first time. Before the pandemic moved the race to August and decimated revenue streams for the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 2020 Indy 500 purse originally was slated to be a record $15 million with at least $2 million to the winner

OFFICIAL BOXSCORE: Final rundown of the 106th Indy 500 with purse payouts

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.

The average payout to the 33 drivers in the 2022 Indy 500 was $485,000. Every driver in the 2022 Indy 500 earned at least six figures (with 26th-place finisher Stefan Wilson at $102,000 as the lowest earner).

“The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest race in the world, and these drivers lay it all on the line for a chance to drink the winner’s milk and kiss the famous Yard of Bricks,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske said in a release. “This year’s record-setting purse is reflective of their tireless pursuit of history and the world-class talent they display on every lap.”

Pato O’Ward took home $1 million as the 2022 runner-up to Ericsson — the largest winnings for the second-place finisher in nearly a decade.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who finished 28th in his Indy 500 debut, earned a $50,000 bonus as the 2022 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year, bringing his total to $207,900. Johnson qualified 12th for the race and consistently was fast in practice on the 2.5-mile oval.

Though the Indy 500 finish factors heavily into choosing the rookie of the year, performance during the month (including qualifying) and positive contributions to promoting the event also can factor in heavily. The award is selected by a panel voting on “the driver who has performed with the most distinction among first-year drivers in the Indianapolis 500. Criteria include on-track performance in practice, qualifying and the race, media and fan interaction, sportsmanship and positive influence on the Indy 500.”

The purse awards were presented Monday night in a ceremony at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

Click here for the boxscore with earnings from the 106th Indy 500.

The payouts for the 2022 Indy 500:

1. Marcus Ericsson, $3,100,000
2. Pato O’Ward, $1,000,000
3. Tony Kanaan, $400,000
4. Felix Rosenqvist, $570,500
5. Alexander Rossi, $548,000
6. Conor Daly, $527,100
7. Helio Castroneves, $205,300
8. Simon Pagenaud, $507,000
9. Alex Palou, $569,600
10. Santino Ferrucci, $134,500
11. Juan Pablo Montoya, $127,000
12. JR Hildebrand, $175,300
13. Josef Newgarden, $530,000
14. Graham Rahal, $483,000
15. Will Power, $474,500
16. David Malukas, $463,000
17. Kyle Kirkwood, $463,000
18. Christian Lundgaard, $463,000
19. Ed Carpenter, $117,000
20. Devlin DeFrancesco, $463,000
21. Scott Dixon, $707,000
22. Marco Andretti, $114,400
23. Sage Karam, $104,500
24. Jack Harvey, $158,800
25. Takuma Sato, $462,000
26. Stefan Wilson, $102,000
27. Dalton Kellett, $462,000
28. Jimmie Johnson, $207,900
29. Scott McLaughlin, $462,000
30. Colton Herta, $469,500
31. Romain Grosjean, $478,500
32. Callum Ilott, $463,000
33. Rinus VeeKay, $487,800

Heather Lyne, Dennis Erb Jr. make history in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Lyne Erb Outlaws Late
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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More than two decades in the making, the pairing of Heather Lyne and Dennis Erb Jr. produced a historical milestone in Dirt Late Model.

Last month, Erb and his long-time crew chief Lyne won their first World of Outlaws Late Model Championship and with this achievement, Lyne became the first female crew chief to win in a national late model series. Their journey together goes back 21 years and tells the story of hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

After a career-best season with the World of Outlaws, Erb and Lyne secured the points championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. with three races remaining in the season. The consistency and success of their season came down to pinpoint focus. Lyne and Erb are a team of two living out a David vs. Goliath tale. In order to be as successful as possible this year the duo knew they had to do as much as possible with the resources they had.

“It’s always a challenge when you only have two people, both at the racetrack and at the shop,” Lyne told NBC Sports. “I also work full time, so during the day, Dennis has to do a significant amount of work so that when I get down there I can start working and maintaining. It’s planning ahead. It’s having that system in place and making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

“When you have a problem at the track, making sure you have all that stuff ready so it’s a quick change and not a lengthy process to make a repair. We had zero DNFs in the World of Outlaws, we had only one DNF out of 96 races [combined among all series].”

Dennis Erb clinched his 2022 championship before the World of Outlaws World Finals. Jacy Norgaard – World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Taming Time

This was not an easy feat. Between a full travel schedule and Lyne’s full-time job as an engineer, time comes at a premium. What they lack in time and resources they made up for in patience and planning.

“We buckled down, and we got all the equipment that we needed back, motors freshened, and things of that nature,” Lyne said about the mid-point of last season. “We were able to keep up with that. We just had a higher focus. I tried to reduce my hours at my day job as much as I possibly could while still maintaining what I need to get done at work. I got rid of a lot of the other distractions and got a more refined system in place at the shop.

“We did certain tasks on certain days so we had time to recover. We were on the road a little bit more, as opposed to coming home to the shop. So we had to be more prepared to stay out on those longer runs. It was just really staying on top of things a little more. It was a heightened sense.”

This was Lyne and Erb’s fourth full season with the Outlaws, but they’ve been on the road together for the last 21 seasons starting in 2001. Their partnership began with Lyne’s bravery. When one door closed, she was quick to open another. In 2001, Lyne’s dad was ready to stop racing. Her mother wanted to regain her weekends, but Lyne knew this was her life path and wasn’t prepared to lose it.

“I’ve always been a tomboy at heart,” Lyne said. “I watched racing with my dad. Growing up he watched NASCAR. In high school, I got tired of playing at the lake house, so I went to the local dirt track and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a year for me to convince my dad to come to the track with me. He finally did and we sponsored a car that year, the following year he started to race limited cars. He ran hobby stocks and limited late models.”

At some point, Lyne and her father’s level of commitment drifted apart.

“He did it for about five years,” Lyne said. “And then my mom said: ‘I’m done racing. I want my weekends back. It’s just not fun anymore.’ I wasn’t ready to hang up my wenches and Dennis raced out of the same hometown so I, on a dare, went down and introduced myself; told him if you ever need any help, I’ll drill out rivets, I’ll help wash, whatever you need. Twenty-one years later here I am.”

Heather Lyne became the first female crew chief to secure a national touring late model championship in 2022. Paul Arch / World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Breaking Through

Lyne entered a male-dominated job in a field that is also male-dominated – and where there were few examples of women creating these places for themselves. In this way, Lyne became a blueprint for other women as they strive to find a place for themselves in racing and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) overall. She has her mother to thank for providing a strong role model, her father for sharing her passion, Erb for taking a chance on an unknow entity and most importantly herself.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything, I want to do, as long as I put my heart and soul into it.” Lyne replied when asked about role models in the sport growing up. “My parents did not raise me to have that limitation. But from a racing role model perspective, I went in there completely green and just introduced myself to Dennis, the fact that he was brave enough to take that risk and bring a girl to the racetrack. Someone he didn’t know at all speaks volumes for him.”

Lyne and Erb have learned how to survive and succeed with each other on the road. They do this by leveraging decades of combined experience and an ability to adapt to the everchanging landscape of dirt late models. Next year the World of Outlaws visits nearly a dozen new tracks and Lyne sees it as an opportunity for continued success.

“I just want to do it again,” Lyne says going into next season, “I’m looking forward to the competition, I always do. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t competitively driven.

“There are some new tracks on the schedule that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time that I haven’t been to myself,” Lyne said of the 2023 season, “Dennis seems to do well on those first timers. We won out at Marion center, we finished second at Bloomsburg. We have a good solid notebook of information to tackle them over the last three years with these rocket race cars that we’re running. It’s good to have that information and leverage it to try some new things.”