BorgWarner Indy 500 Rollover Bonus Up To $440,000 For Josef Newgarden

BorgWarner Indy 500 Rollover Bonus Up To $440,000 For Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden could collect an additional bonus from BorgWarner if he wins his second-straight … [+] Indy 500 in 2024.

IndyCar Photo by Chris Owens

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden has an additional 440,000 reasons to win the 108th Indianapolis 500 on May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

That’s $440,000.

It’s the latest jackpot for the BorgWarner
rollover bonus that is awarded only when a driver wins consecutive, or back-to-back Indianapolis 500s.

The BorgWarner rollover was established in 1995 with the amount of the jackpot increasing by $20,000 each year.

So far, however, it’s only been awarded once since its inception. That as to Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, who drove for the team when he won the Indy 500s in 2001 and 2002.

“Well, that would be pretty cool,” Newgarden told me Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “There’s no doubt about it, Helio sets a pretty high bar. It was incredible being his teammate for a couple years and seeing the way he works around the Speedway here. So, I would love to emulate him, be able to go back-to-back, the first person to do it in a long time.

“And I know this team’s motivated, so it would mean a lot to the 2 car.”

Although Castroneves is the only driver to win back-to-back Indianapolis 500s, there were four previous drivers that won the Indy 500 in consecutive years prior to the inception of the BorgWarner rollover.

The first Indianapolis 500 was in 1911 and the first driver to win in consecutive years was Wilbur Shaw in 1939 and 1940. Mauri Rose won the 500-Mile Race in 1947 and 1948, Bill Vukovich in 1953 and 1954 and Al Unser went back-to-back in 1970 and 1971.

Prior to that back-to-back wins have happened just 4 times since the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 – 1939 and 1940 Wilbur Shaw, 1947 and 1948 Mauri Rose, 1953 and 1954 Bill Vukovich and 1970 and 1971 Al Unser.

Newgarden raced to his first Indianapolis 500 victory in 2023.

The prize money can only be claimed by a driver who wins the Indianapolis 500 in back-to-back years. Each year, the jackpot increases by an additional $20,000 and continues until the next driver wins the race in consecutive years.

“BorgWarner looks forward to the excitement of the Indianapolis 500 every year, and we’re thrilled to increase the stakes even further for Josef Newgarden this year with the rolling jackpot prize,” said Frédéric Lissalde, President and CEO, BorgWarner. “We’re anxious to see if Newgarden will meet me in Victory Circle for the second consecutive year and cash in on the jackpot for the first time in over 20 years.”

How much money is $440,000 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

In 1962 the total purse awarded for all 33 drivers in the Indianapolis 500 was $426,152. In 1963 the total purse awarded for all 33 drivers in the Indianapolis 500 was $494,030.

In 1984 when Rick Mears won is second Indy 500 his total earning were $434,060. In 1985 when Danny Sullivan won the Indy 500 his total earnings were $517,662.

Last year, in 2024, Josef Newgarden won $3.666 million for winning the Indy 500.

But in Newgarden’s mind, the Indianapolis 500 could pay nothing, and the drivers would fight just as hard for the fame and glory and the accomplishment that comes with winning the World’s Biggest Race.

Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden

BorgWarner Photo

“You said it perfectly even if even if nothing was paid out, we would be here and we would want to win this race,” Newgarden said. “The Indianapolis 500 means everything to us, but extra money is a motivator, and it would be great to have this bonus.

“Borg Warner is such a tremendous partner of the Speedway and of this iconic event. They are the custodian of the iconic trophy of the Indianapolis 500.

“It’s pretty cool that they provide this opportunity, and let’s see if we can get it done.”

Since Newgarden’s victory in the 107th Indianapolis 500 in 2023, the driver from Hendersonville, Tennessee has gotten to know the BorgWarner people very, very well with a season of celebration. That has included his face unveiled on the permanent Borg-Warner Trophy last December at the Stutz Museum in Indianapolis.

In January, Newgarden and winning team owner Roger Penske received their “Baby Borgs” – miniature versions of the Borg-Warner Trophy, at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.

The chance to win the rollover bonus has kept the season of celebration rolling for Newgarden and BorgWarner.

“Yeah, I think that’s a good way to put it,” the Team Penske driver said. “We’ve had a fun time over the last 12 months. It’s been amazing to experience what winning the Indianapolis 500 is like. There is truly, nothing that compares to it.

“And I’m excited about this year. Hopefully, we’ll have another opportunity to win this race. It would mean the world to me to get another one here.”

The Indy 500 race winner has defended his title 83 times the following year, with an average finish position of just 13.04 place. Only Wilbur Shaw (1939 & 1940), Mauri Rose (1947 & 1948), Bill Vukovich (1953 & 1954), Al Unser (1970 & 1971) and Helio Castroneves (2001 & 2002) have defended their title.

Since Castroneves won back-to-back in 2001 and 2002, 17 race winners have returned the next year to Indy to defend their titles. Their average finish has been 13.11 place.

After winning the Indy 500 – the defending winner has six times finished 32nd (three times) or 33 or last (3 times).

After winning the Indy 500 – the defending winner has finished 2nd nine times the following year.

Newgarden was the 75th driver to win the Indy 500. Newgarden is the 110th face on the Borg-Warner Trophy, which made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1936. Every winner since Ray Harroun in 1911 to Josef Newgarden in 2023 is adorned on the trophy in sterling silver. Tony Hulman who owned the track from 1945 until his passing in 1977 is remembered with a 24-karat gold image.

The Borg-Warner Trophy weighs 110 pounds and is 5-feet 4-¾-inches tall.

In addition to the BorgWarner rollover bonus, should Newgarden score back-to-back

Defending Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden

BorgWarner Photo

Indy 500 wins, it would also be Team Penske’s 20th Indianapolis 500 win.

That’s a milestone that is very important to everybody on the team.

“It’s a big deal,” Newgarden said. “Roger is always looking at the next goal post and 20 is where we are at. We need to get there and figure it out and it would be special for everybody on this team to get there.”

It would also be a tremendous triumph over adversity for Penske, Newgarden and the entire team that has been involved in the push-to-pass scandal that saw Newgarden disqualified from his race victory in the March 10 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Also, teammate Scott McLaughlin was disqualified after finishing third – both drivers had push-to-pass software and used it for starts and restarts in the race, against IndyCar push-to-ass regulations.

Teammate Will Power was penalized, but not disqualified, when IndyCar officials discovered his car also had the same push-to-pass software, but the driver did not use it against regulations on starts and restarts.

“We’re focused forward,” Newgarden said. “Absolutely, there has been some adversity here in the first half of the year, but this team is resilient. We know our character, we know our values, and we’re not changing from who we are.

“There is no I respect more than Roger Penske and this team. To be able to come back here as winners to compete, with this group, it means the world to me. And it would be a huge victory for all of us if we could get there.”

Josef Newgarden celebrates with a bottle of milk in victory lane after winning the 107th running of … [+] the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, 2023, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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