A million dollar payday for "Dixie"

Star studded banquet hands out awards to the winners in the IndyCar series.

A million dollar payday for "Dixie"

Less than 24 hours after winning his third IZOD IndyCar Series championship, Scott Dixon got his chance to celebrate.

Dixon and Firestone Indy Lights champion Sage Karam - along with other drivers, teams and manufacturers - were recognized during the INDYCAR Championship Celebration at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR, presented Dixon and team owner Chip Ganassi with a $1 million championship bonus check and replicas of the Astor Challenge Cup, the IZOD IndyCar Series championship trophy.

"It still feels surreal because it was such an up-and-down year," Dixon said. "I think the other times, getting so close, you feel like you're never going to get there again. To go through the trials and tribulations of the year and for the team to pull through and try to get back to the top and win, this one feels pretty special and very different from the other two we've won."

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Covy Moore

In addition to the championship bonus, Dixon accepted the Jostens Champions Award, a ring valued at $10,000.

Ricky Davis, chief mechanic for Dixon's No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, accepted the IZOD IndyCar Series Chief Mechanic of the Year Award. Scott Harner and Barry Wanser of Target Chip Ganassi Racing accepted the Team Manager of the Year Award.

Tristan Vautier of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports accepted the $50,000 IZOD IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, while Josef Newgarden won the Tony Renna Rising Star Award.

Jim Campbell, Chevrolet's vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, accepted the manufacturer's award on behalf of Chevrolet.

Helio Castroneves of Team Penske was honored as the second-place finisher in the championship while Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports was honored for finishing third.

Karam accepted the mini Firestone Firehawk Cup, the Firestone Indy Lights Rookie of the Year, a Jostens Champions Award valued at $5,000, an original artwork by motorsports artist Jim Swintal commissioned by Firestone.

"When I woke up this morning and it really hit me. I was like, 'Wow, we did it,'" Karam said. "The season went well and we had an awesome time and I learned a lot. We had some bad luck, but turned it around and came out on top. I love my team at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. They do an awesome job and it's an incredible team to be part of."

Sage Karam, Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian
Sage Karam, Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian

Photo by: Covy Moore

Carlos Munoz was awarded the $3,000 "Securing Tomorrow Award" from Gregory & Appel Insurance for winning the most races, while Peter Dempsey was named the winner of the Greg Moore Legacy Award.

Derrick Stepan, chief mechanic for Karam's No. 8 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb Agajanian entry, accepted the Firestone Indy Lights Chief Mechanic of the Year Award.

The Mazda Road to Indy also presented Matthew Brabham, champion of the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tiers, and Scott Hargrove, champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda, with Jostens Champions Awards valued at $4,000.

IZOD IndyCar Series award winners

Championship driver (Astor Challenge Cup): Scott Dixon Jostens Championship Driver Award (ring): Scott Dixon Championship team (Astor Challenge Cup): Target Chip Ganassi Racing Championship team sponsors: Target Championship team manager: Scott Harner and Barry Wanser Chief Mechanic of the Year Award: Ricky Davis Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award ($50,000): Tristan Vautier Second place championship driver: Helio Castroneves Second place championship team: Team Penske Third place championship driver: Simon Pagenaud Third place championship team: Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports Tony Renna Rising Star Award: Josef Newgarden Verizon P1 Award: Dario Franchitti Manufacturers Championship: Chevrolet

Firestone Indy Lights award winners:

Championship driver (mini Firehawk Cup): Sage Karam Jostens Championship Driver Award (ring): Sage Karam Championship team (mini Firehawk Cup): Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb Agajanian Chief Mechanic of the Year: Derrick Stepan Firestone Indy Lights Rookie of the Year ($15,000): Sage Karam Greg Moore Legacy Award: Peter Dempsey Gregory & Appel "Securing Tomorrow" Award ($3,000): Carlos Munoz

Mazda Road to Indy award winners:

Jostens Championship Driver Award (ring): Matthew Brabham (Pro Mazda Championship); Scott Hargrove (USF2000 Championship).

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