Indy 500: Victory Celebration report

DIXON EARNS RECORD $2.98 MILLION FROM 92nd INDIANAPOLIS 500 PURSE Hunter-Reay named Chase Rookie of the Year INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 26, 2008 -- Scott Dixon earned a record $2,988,065 from a record overall purse of $14,406,580 for his victory...

DIXON EARNS RECORD $2.98 MILLION FROM 92nd INDIANAPOLIS 500 PURSE
Hunter-Reay named Chase Rookie of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 26, 2008 -- Scott Dixon earned a record $2,988,065 from a record overall purse of $14,406,580 for his victory May 25 in the 92nd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

The previous record winner's purse was $1,761,740 awarded to Buddy Rice in 2004, while the 2007 Indianapolis 500 field was awarded the previous record race purse, $10,668,815. The event purse is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League awards, including the new IndyCar TEAM (Team Enhancement and Allocation Matrix) program, sponsor awards and other designated awards.

Dixon, a first-time "500" winner, became the first native of New Zealand to win the Indianapolis 500 in an exciting, hard-fought race. Dixon, an Indianapolis resident, started from the PEAK Motor Oil Pole in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, led seven times for a race-high 115 laps and beat Panther Racing's Vitor Meira to the finish line by 1.7498 seconds.

Dixon successfully avoided the six accidents and other incidents responsible for the eight cautions that slowed the race average speed to 143.567 mph. The race featured 18 lead changes among nine drivers. Meira's efforts for the second-place finish in the No. 4 Delphi National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone earned him $1,273,215, the first time anyone other than the Indianapolis winner has won more than $1 million, far exceeding the previous second-place record payout of $739,665 for Helio Castroneves in 2003.

Marco Andretti finished third -- his second top-three Indy finish in three years -- and earned $782,065. Two-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves crossed the finish line in fourth place, earning $482,815, and Ed Carpenter earned $399,665 with his Indy career-best finish of fifth.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone, was awarded the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Award and its $25,000 bonus. Hunter-Reay finished sixth after starting 20th. He climbed into the top 10 by Lap 80 and stayed there the rest of the race.

At the Victory Celebration, Meira received 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 93rd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2009.

-credit: ims

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Buddy Rice , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Ed Carpenter , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing