Simon Pagenaud has an extra incentive at Indy this year, with BorgWarner’s rolling jackpot for a repeat Indy 500 standing at $360,000 for the 2020 event.
Each year, the jackpot increases by $20,000, with the lump sum being up for grabs by the next driver who achieves back-to-back Indianapolis 500 wins. Established by BorgWarner in 1995 as a way to amplify its involvement with the classic event, the prize money has only been claimed once – by Helio Castroneves in 2002.
“BorgWarner has a long history with this prestigious motorsport event; from awarding the Borg-Warner Trophy to being the official turbocharger supplier of the race, the Indianapolis 500 is deep-seated within our company,” said Frederic Lissalde, President and CEO, BorgWarner Inc. “The rolling jackpot that BorgWarner increases each year adds even more excitement to this legendary race.”
Back-to-back wins have been scarce in the history of the Indianapolis 500. In fact, since the inception of the race in 1911, only five lucky drivers have achieved this feat: Wilbur Shaw (1939-1940), Mauri Rose (1947-1948), Bill Vukovich (1953-1954), Al Unser (1970-1971) and most recently, Castroneves (2001-2002). No driver has ever clinched three straight victories.
If Pagenaud does not end up in Victory Circle on August 23, the $360,000 will carry over to the 2021 race with an additional $20,000 added by BorgWarner. If Pagenaud is the victor, the rolling jackpot will start over at $20,000 next year.