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Report: Kyle Larson’s Indy 500 Bid Cost $3 Million

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What’s Happening?

Kyle Larson’s Indianapolis 500 effort was far from a cheap endeavor. Adam Stern reports that Hendrick Motorsports spent $3 million for Kyle Larson to compete in the Indianapolis 500. How does that stack up compared to a typical NASCAR race?

  • Kyle Larson’s attempt at the Indianapolis 500 was a joint effort between Hendrick Motorsports and Arrow McLaren. It was the first time a NASCAR driver attempted the race since Kurt Busch finished sixth in 2014.
  • While the attempt was overshadowed by rain, with Larson missing the Coca-Cola 600 as a result, this figure could provide some insight into what went into this effort. How much could it have factored into the decision to stay in Indianapolis?
  • Fans were not too surprised to see this figure floating around. However, it may be difficult to determine how this compares to a typical NASCAR race.

How Does This Compare?

Stern notes that this figure includes everything Hendrick spent associated with this effort, including test sessions, suites, travel, sponsorship, etc. Stern did not detail exactly how much was spent in each category.

How does that compare to a typical Cup Series team? Stern reported back in March that the top teams spend roughly $20 million per car. When spreading that out over a full season, a typical NASCAR Cup Series race costs teams just over $500,000. Using these rough calculations, Rick Hendrick spent roughly 5x to 6x as much as he would spend on a typical NASCAR Cup Series race.

How does it compare to a typical Indy 500 effort? Stern reports that a normal Indy 500 entry costs between $1 million and $1.5 million, meaning HMS spent around 2x to 3x as much on their entry.

Without specific figures for each category in which they spent money, it’s hard to tell exactly how much it would cost HMS to do it again. However, it does showcase that they are investing more money into this than the typical IndyCar entrant and more than a typical NASCAR race.

This cost a lot of money, and HMS has to consider that when deciding whether or not to let Larson do this again. Is it worth it to invest all of this money into a race that could hinder Larson and HMS’s main focus, the NASCAR Cup Series? It almost cost Larson a Playoff spot.

NBC Sports reports that Kyle Larson received $178,000 for his efforts at Indianapolis. That’s not even close to how much HMS spent on the effort.

NBC Sports also reports that, on the other hand, the winner of the Indianapolis 500, Joseph Newgarden, took home $4.2 million, including a $440,000 bonus for being a back-to-back winner. Second-place finisher, Pato O’Ward, also brought home over $1 million.

The Indy 500 costs a lot, but the payout can be big. It’s tough to know exactly how much money HMS earned from competing in the Indianapolis 500, but there’s no way around the fact that it costs a lot more than a typical race.

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