For Immediate Release
IRL TRUE VALUE 200 PAYOUT POSTED AT $1,102,000, WINNER SCOTT SHARP, FOYT TEAM COLLECT $118,000
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 22, 1996) -- First-time Indy car winner Scott Sharp and the A.J. Foyt Enterprises racing team were awarded $118,000 of a total $1,102,000 prize fund following their victory in Sunday's IRL True Value 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway at Loudon, N.H.
The purse for the league's first 1996-97 event was announced today by Jack Long, IRL executive director. With the addition of a $10,000 PPG Pole Award to the IRL prize fund, it is the league's largest payout to date for any race other than the Indianapolis 500, which paid in excess of $8.1 million this May.
Sharp, the 1996 IRL driver co-champion, drove Foyt's No. 1 Conseco Lola Ford Cosworth in the True Value 200 and won a $78,000 base prize, $22,000 IRL qualifying bonus (awarded to each of the top 20 qualifiers), $18,000 in designated awards and 35 championship points toward the 1996-97 driver's title.
Buzz Calkins, the other 1996 IRL driver co-champion, finished second at New Hampshire in his Bradley Motorsports/Bradley FoodMarts entry and was awarded $87,250. The third-place prize of $81,750 went to Formula One veteran Michele Alboreto and Team Scandia.
The new PPG Pole Award, announced Saturday morning in New Hampshire, was won by driver Richie Hearn for Della Penna Motorsports. The $10,000 PPG Pole Award will become an IRL qualifying day staple along with the True Value $10,000 pole-winning chief mechanic's award. With an event-high total of $22,000 in designated awards, Hearn's winnings for 14th place in the race totaled $61,000. Tyce Carlson, a rookie finishing 11th, picked up the $10,000 Raybestos Highest Finishing Rookie award and totaled $56,500.
Starting in the 1996-97 season, the pole position in an IRL event pays two points toward the championship, giving Hearn a two point bonus in Loudon. Also new this season is a one point bonus toward the IRL championship for leading the most laps in each race. Tony Stewart earned that IRL bonus point Sunday for leading 165 laps.
The next IRL race, also carrying a $1 million purse, will be run at the new Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 15 aired live by ABC Sports television and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.