IRL: Indy 500 - Bank One increases Rookie of the Year Award to $25,000

BANK ONE INCREASES ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD TO $25,000 INDIANAPOLIS, May 21, 1999 - The 1999 Bank One Rookie of the Year will receive the largest cash prize in the 47-year history of the coveted Indianapolis 500-Mile Race award. ...


INDIANAPOLIS, May 21, 1999 - The 1999 Bank One Rookie of the Year will receive the largest cash prize in the 47-year history of the coveted Indianapolis 500-Mile Race award. Larry J. O'Connor, president of Bank One, Indiana, announced today that the driver selected for one of auto racing's highest honors will receive a check for $25,000, a $15,000 increase. It will be included in his race pay envelope handed to him during the annual Victory Celebration May 31 at Clowes Hall, located on the Butler University campus. The honoree will be revealed by O'Connor and saluted at a reception at the same facility before the Victory Celebration ceremony. Recent previous winners received $10,000. This will be Bank One's 21st year as sponsor of the award. Art Cross, the inaugural winner in 1952, received $500 and a year's supply of Stark & Wetzel meats. The greatly increased prize check should bring wide smiles to the nine drivers who hope to qualify for their first Indianapolis 500 this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The candidates are Mike Borkowski, 26;Wim Eyckmans, 26; Nick Firestone, 33; John Hollansworth Jr., 35; Jaques Lazier, 28; Robby McGehee, 25; Jeret Schroeder, 29, Brian Tyler, 31; and David Steele, 25. They come to Indy from around America and, in Eyckmans' case, Belgium. In addition to the check, the 1999 Rookie of the Year also will receive an engraved plaque as well as having his name inscribed on the handsome trophy that stands on display during the year in the Hall of Fame Museum. The trophy salutes the ultimate rookie, Ray Harroun, who won the first Indy 500 in 1911. The 1998 winner was Steve Knapp, a 34-year-old newcomer from Salem, Wis. He drove for ISM Racing and also was making his debut in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League competition. A select 50-member committee, comprised of veteran observers of the race, votes at the conclusion of the "500", and ballots are compiled on a 3-2-1 point basis. All of the candidates will appear at the reception. Bill York, Speedway media room manager since 1964, is chairman of this year's committee. The Rookie Award presentation is part of Bank One's participation in the events and festivities surrounding the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bank One also has sponsored the Bank One 500 Festival Rookie Run and Kids' Day, and will feature a float in the IPALCO 500 Festival Parade on May 29, the day before the race. Bank One, Indiana, NA is affiliated with BANC ONE CORPORATION. Total managed assets of $146.7 billion and total assets of $116.3 billion make BANC ONE CORPORATION the nation's eighth largest bank holding company. BANC ONE operates more than 1,300 banking centers in 12 states and has facilities in 33 states. It operates national lines of business, including retail, commercial banking, investment management and trust, finance company and card organizations. Previous winners of the Bank One Rookie of the Year Award:

1952 - Art Cross                        1976 - Vern Schuppan
1953 - Jimmy Daywalt                        1977 - Jerry Sneva
1954 - Larry Crockett                        1978 - (co-winners) Rick Mears,
1955 - Al Herman                                    Larry Rice
1956 - Bob Veith                        1979 - Howdy Holmes
1957 - Don Edmunds                        1980 - Tim Richmond
1958 - George Amick                        1981 - Josele Garza
1959 - Bobby Grim                        1982 - Jim Hickman
1960 - Jim Hurtubise                        1983 - Teo Fabi
1961 - (co-winners) Parnelli Jones,        1984 - (co-winners) Michael Andretti,
            Bobby Marshman              1985 - Arie Luyendyk
1962 - Jim McElreath                        1986 - Randy Lanier
1963 - Jimmy Clark                        1987 - Fabrizio Barbazza
1964 - Johnny White                        1988 - Billy Vukovich III
1965 - Mario Andretti                        1989 - Bernard Jourdain
1966 - Jackie Stewart                        1990 - Eddie Cheever
1967 - Denis Hulme                        1991 - Jeff Andretti
1968 - Billy Vukovich Jr.                1992 - Lyn St. James
1969 - Mark Donohue                        1993 - Nigel Mansell
1970 - Donnie Allison                        1994 - Jacques Villeneuve
1971 - Denny Zimmerman                            1995 - Christian Fittipaldi
1972 - Mike Hiss                        1996 - Tony Stewart
1973 - Graham McRae                        1997 - Jeff Ward
1974 - Pancho Carter                        1998 - Steve Knapp
1975 - Bill Puterbaugh                        

Source: IRL/IMS

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jacques Villeneuve , Eddie Cheever , Jeff Ward , Arie Luyendyk , Michael Andretti , Jeret Schroeder , Jaques Lazier  , Christian Fittipaldi , Nigel Mansell , Jackie Stewart , Lyn St. James , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Parnelli Jones , Steve Knapp , Jeff Andretti , Vern Schuppan , Brian Tyler , Mike Borkowski , Donnie Allison , Howdy Holmes , Jim McElreath , Pancho Carter , Wim Eyckmans , Teo Fabi , Bernard Jourdain , Josele Garza , Mark Donohue , Tim Richmond , Randy Lanier