Record $15 million prize and enhanced fan experience announced for Indy 500

Simon Pagenaud, of France, crosses the start/finish line on the start of the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Rob Baker)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — When you head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May, you will see a lot of changes.

New owner Roger Penske is already setting out to enhance the experience.

Here are the bullet points of what that will involve:

  • The largest purse in Indianapolis 500 history
  • Improvements to the Indianapolis 500 qualifying format and television schedule
  • New sponsors investing long term in the "500," IMS and NTT INDYCAR SERIES
  • A multimillion-dollar investment in the fan experience at IMS

"This is the Racing Capital of the World," Roger Penske said. "It is on par with some of the most historic sporting institutions in this nation and across the globe, from Churchill Downs to Augusta National. Today, we're announcing a meaningful investment in our fan experience that will produce rapid results. It's part of a long-term plan to ensure the legendary status of the Speedway continues to grow and evolve for generations to come."

Indianapolis 500 Purse

The purse for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be the largest in the event's history. It will grow by $2 million to $15 million.

(Indianapolis Motor Speedway)


Qualifying will be Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 and will feature a variety of changes to its format.

That includes a 75-minute shootout to qualify for the three positions in the last row. Drivers will also get multiple attempts during the shootout.

There will also be a boost in the turbocharger level to allow the cars to put out an additional 45 HP this year.

(Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
Multimillion-Dollar Fan Experience Investment

More than 30 additional large-screen video boards will be added, including 24 along the Paddock seating. The seven infield infield big-screen monitors will get a screen under them that will show the running order.

An IMS Media Wall will be installed in the Pagoda Plaza measuring 100 feet wide by 20 feet tall.

(Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

Another great change for fans will be the renovation of more than 125 restrooms inside IMS.

The fan experience changes will all be complete by the time the gates open Friday, May 8.

Tickets are on sale now at and the IMS Ticket Office for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge

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