HORNISH EARNS $1.74 MILLION FROM RECORD INDIANAPOLIS 500 PURSE Marco Andretti named Chase Rookie of the Year with second-place finish INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 29, 2006 -- Sam Hornish Jr. earned $1,744,855 from a record purse of $10,518,565...
HORNISH EARNS $1.74 MILLION FROM RECORD INDIANAPOLIS 500 PURSE
Marco Andretti named Chase Rookie of the Year with second-place finish
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 29, 2006 -- Sam Hornish Jr. earned $1,744,855 from a record purse of $10,518,565 for his stunning victory May 28 in the 90th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. Hornish passed rookie Marco Andretti on the final lap as they approached the famous "Yard of Bricks," crossing the finish line just .0635 of a second ahead of Andretti.
It was the second-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history and Hornish's first victory in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," in his seventh start.
Hornish's winnings and the total purse were announced May 29 during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His win in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone gave team owner Roger Penske a record 14th victory.
This year's event purse broke the record of $10,304,815 set in 2005. This is the fifth consecutive year the overall purse for the field of 33 drivers has exceeded $10 million. The event purse is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League and sponsor awards, and other designated awards. Buddy Rice earned the record driver's payout of $1,761,740 in 2004.
Hornish, a 26-year-old native of Defiance, Ohio, and resident of nearby Napoleon, Ohio, led three times for 19 laps, becoming the 18th driver to win the race from the pole and the first driver in the race to take the lead on the final lap. Hornish closed on the No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone car of Andretti exiting Turn 4 and dramatically passed him on the inside just before the finish line.
The race featured 14 lead changes among seven drivers. 2005 winner Dan Wheldon led the most laps with 148.
Andretti earned $698,505 for finishing an IRL IndyCar Series career-best second. The "500" was only his fourth start in the top-level open-wheel racing series, and his result earned him the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Award and its $25,000 bonus. Andretti's grandfather, Mario Andretti, won rookie of the year honors in 1965 after finishing third, and his father, Michael, shared the top rookie award with Roberto Guerrero after finishing fifth in 1984.
Michael Andretti followed his son across the line to finish third in the No. 1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone and earned $480,105. Andretti nearly won the race, his 15th start at the "500," when he led Laps 194-197 before his son passed him.
Hornish's contributions to the sport on a personal level also were recognized at the Victory Celebration. He was awarded the Scott Brayton Driver's Trophy, presented since 1997 to the driver who best exemplifies the character and racing spirit of the late Scott Brayton.
The 91st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for May 27, 2007.