Winner's share of Indy 500 purse: $2.56 million
INDIANAPOLIS - Dan Wheldon earned $2,567,255 from an overall purse of $13,509,485 for his victory in the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Wheldon passed JR Hildebrand on the final straightaway of the race after Hildebrand drifted high to avoid traffic in Turn 4 and hit the SAFER Barrier. It was the only lap of the race that Wheldon led, breaking the record for the fewest laps led by a winner (two) set by Joe Dawson in 1912.
England native Wheldon, who started sixth, became just the 18th driver to win the race at least twice. He also triumphed in 2005, when he also captured the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. Wheldon has six top-four finishes in nine career Indianapolis 500 starts, including second, second and first in the last three years, respectively.
Hildebrand, who started 12th, crossed the start-finish line on three wheels to place second, earning $1,064,895. He also won the Chase Rookie of the Year Trophy, which includes a $25,000 bonus.
Graham Rahal climbed from the 29th starting spot to finish third, the best position advancement of any driver in this year's race. He earned $646,945 for his career-best Indianapolis finish.
Tony Kanaan earned $438,745 for charging from 22nd to fourth. It was the fourth top-five finish at Indianapolis for 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Kanaan.
2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, who started in the middle of the front row and led a race-high 73 laps, earned $519,345 for finishing fifth. It was the fourth top-five finish at Indianapolis for two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dixon.
The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race purse consists of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IZOD IndyCar Series awards, plus other designated and special awards. Purse awards were announced and presented at the Centennial Victory Awards Celebration presented by Ice Miller LLP on Monday, May 30 at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
The 96th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27, 2012.