Blundell Hopes For 'Million Dollar Payday' (August 25, 1998) -- Mark Blundell carved himself a niche in Championship Auto Racing Teams history when he won the first FedEx Championship Series event held at California Speedway last ...
Blundell Hopes For 'Million Dollar Payday'
(August 25, 1998) -- Mark Blundell carved himself a niche in Championship Auto Racing Teams history when he won the first FedEx Championship Series event held at California Speedway last September.
Blundell (Motorola PacWest Mercedes) earned $90,500 for that victory, and now he has a million reasons to want to defend that championship.
That's because the winner's purse for the Nov. 1 Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway is $1 million, part of a potential $3 million payday following the 500-mile FedEx Championship Series finale at the two-mile oval east of Los Angeles.
In addition to the winner's purse, $1 million will be claimed by the driver who wins the PPG Cup, awarded annually to the driver who collects the most points during the FedEx Championship Series season.
A third $1 million prize could be collected by some lucky fan through CART's first-ever major consumer promotion, a watch-and-win program during the race telecast on ESPN. Additional prizes to be awarded in conjunction with the watch-and-win contest include the chance to drive a PacWest Racing Group Champ Car and a trip to the 1999 FedEx Championship Series race at California Speedway.
"Winning the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway was quite special last season," said Blundell, who finished 0.847 seconds ahead of Jimmy Vasser (Target Reynard Honda) last year. "It was the inaugural race at the fastest race track in the world. An extra incentive to win this year is the one million dollars in prize money.
"Repeating a victory at a race track is always something to be quite proud of, which I would be this year. But one million dollars to win - if that isn't reason enough to win, I don't know what is. To strap into a car and pull into victory lane three hours later, and be rewarded with one million dollars - now, that would be a race to remember for many seasons to come, and a great way to end the 1998 season."
The $1 million winner's purse in the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota ranks among the richest in sport, exceeding the individual payout to winning athletes in football's Super Bowl, baseball's World Series, golf's U.S. Open and soccer's World Cup, among other events.
CART's sponsor partners in the watch-and-win program include Toyota, Firestone, Kmart, FedEx, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, MCI, PPG and Penske Auto Centers.
The "Million Dollar Payday" contest will be supported with multi-page advertisements in People Magazine, ESPN Magazine and Sports Illustrated. Additionally, a special insert will appear in USA Today on October 29.
Source: CART Online