[Source: INDYCAR press release]
INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Feb. 21, 2014) – INDYCAR announced today enhancements to the bonus structure and the 21 entrants that will be part of its Leaders Circle program for the 2014 IndyCar Series season.
The Leaders Circle program was established in 2002 to provide incentives to teams that participate full time in the IndyCar Series. Each Leaders Circle member is assured a minimum of $1 million for the 18-race season if the entrant successfully qualifies for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
“The Leaders Circle program is an important resource for full-time teams in the IndyCar Series,” said Derrick Walker, President of Competition and Operations, INDYCAR. “We are looking at ways to continue to grow this resource in the future and further reward our teams for their continued participation in the series.”
Twenty entrants were selected based on their standing in the 2013 IndyCar Series entrant points, including Bryan Herta Autosport (car number and driver TBA). The entry for the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske car driven by Juan Pablo Montoya is also a new Leaders Circle member for 2014 through a partnership with Dragon Racing.
Additionally, all entrants will continue to compete for bonuses that will now be paid to the top-10 finishers at each IndyCar Series race aside from the races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indianapolis 500), Pocono Raceway and Auto Club Speedway. The race bonuses are: $30,000 for first place, $20,000 for second place, $15,000 for third, $10,000 for fourth, $9,000 for fifth, $8,000 for sixth, $7,000 for seventh, $5,000 for eighth, $4,000 for ninth and $2,000 for 10th at each race. At Pocono and Auto Club, the winning team will receive $40,000 with the remaining payouts remaining the same as other races.
Non-Leaders Circle entrants will compete for payouts awarded to the top-five finishers. In each race excluding the races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indianapolis 500), Pocono and Auto Club, the highest-finishing non-Leaders Circle entrant will receive $20,000. At Pocono and Auto Club, the highest finishing team will receive $30,000.
The next-placed Non-Leaders Circle entrants will receive $15,000, and $10,000, respectively. The fourth and fifth-placed Non-Leader Circle entrants will each receive $5,000 at all races excluding the Indianapolis 500.
The IndyCar Series driver champion and championship entrant again will share a $1 million bonus, with second through 10th in the standings sharing bonuses of $250,000, $90,000, $75,000, $60,000, $50,000, $40,000, $35,000, $25,000 and $15,000.
Contingency prizes will continue to be awarded at IndyCar Series events.
2014 INDYCAR SERIES LEADER CIRCLE ENTRANTS
Number, Car name, Driver, Engine
2, Verizon Team Penske, Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet
3, Team Penske, Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet
7, SMP Racing, Mikail Aleshin, Honda
9, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Scott Dixon, Chevrolet
10, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet
11, Mistic KVSH Racing, Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet
12, Verizon Team Penske, Will Power, Chevrolet
14, ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing, Takuma Sato, Honda
15, National Guard, Graham Rahal, Honda
17, AFS KVAFS Racing, Sebastian Saavedra, Chevrolet
18, Dale Coyne Racing, TBA, Honda
19, Dale Coyne Racing, Justin Wilson, Honda
20, Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing, Ed Carpenter/Mike Conway, Chevrolet
25, Snapple, Marco Andretti, Honda
27, United Fiber & Data, James Hinchcliffe, Honda
28, DHL, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda
34, Cinsay AndrettiTV.com HVM, Carlos Munoz, Honda
67, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, Josef Newgarden, Honda
77, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Simon Pagenaud, Honda
83, Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing, Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet
TBA, Bryan Herta Autosport, TBA, Honda
Subject to change