IRL: Indy500: Castroneves earns $1.27 million of record purse

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, May 27, 2001 - Helio Castroneves earned $1,270,475 of the largest purse in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history for winning Sunday's 85th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, according to unofficial prize figures...

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, May 27, 2001 - Helio Castroneves earned $1,270,475 of the largest purse in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history for winning Sunday's 85th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, according to unofficial prize figures announced at Sunday night's Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration.

The total 2001 purse of $9,615,325 was an event record. The previous event record was $9,476,505, set last year in the Memorial Day classic. The purse is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing Northern Light Series awards, as well as other designated awards.

Castroneves, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, beat 32 other drivers from the closest qualifying field in the history of the Indianapolis 500 in the No. 68 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. His winning margin over Penske Racing teammate Gil de Ferran was 1.7373 seconds, the sixth-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history.

Castroneves also was named the Bank One Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. That award includes a check for $10,000. de Ferran won $482,775 for his runner-up performance in the No. 66 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, while third-place finisher Michael Andretti, who drove the No. 39 Motorola/Archipelago Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, took home $346,225. Drivers Jimmy Vasser, Bruno Junqueira and Tony Stewart posted fourth, fifth and sixth-place finishes, respectively, for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Vasser earned $233,325, Junqueira earned $255,825, and Stewart earned $218,850.

Eliseo Salazar, who finished seventh driving the No. 14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, earned $355,300. Rounding out the top 10 were Airton Dare, who earned $319,325 for eighth; Billy Boat, $336,325 for ninth; and Felipe Giaffone, $211,575 for 10th. MBNA Pole winner Scott Sharp earned $427,325 for his 33rd-place finish. Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, exited the race on a first-lap accident. His total winnings included $100,000 for winning the MBNA Pole Award. The 86th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (EST) May 26, 2002.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Felipe Giaffone , Eliseo Salazar , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Airton Daré , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Team Penske