How much do Indycar drivers make? Racing is not just a fun or entertainment as the drivers risk their lives to grab money into their banks. IndyCar racing is not much famous as of Formula One. However, there are some known racers who have been the part of this industry. How much these drivers earn from the races? Here are the complete details about the IndyCar drivers salaries and the contracts they receive from the teams.
How much do Indycar drivers make?
The salaries of IndyCar drivers vary depending on their experience, success, and the team they drive for. The average salary for an IndyCar driver is around $750,000. However, the highest-paid drivers can earn millions of dollars per year.
The top 5 highest-paid IndyCar drivers in 2023 are:
- Marcus Ericsson: $3.1 million
- Scott Dixon: $707,000
- Pato O’Ward: $1 million
- Felix Rosenqvist: $570,500
- Alex Palou: $569,600
These drivers earn such high salaries because they are very successful and bring in a lot of sponsorship money for their teams. They also have a lot of experience and have won races and championships.
At the other end of the spectrum, some IndyCar drivers earn very little money. The minimum salary for an IndyCar driver is $300,000. These drivers are typically less experienced and do not bring in as much sponsorship money.
In addition to their salaries, IndyCar drivers can also earn money through prize money and bonuses. Prize money is awarded to the drivers who finish in the top positions in each race. Bonuses can be awarded for things like winning races, leading laps, or qualifying on the pole.
Overall, the salaries of IndyCar drivers are very competitive. The top drivers can earn millions of dollars per year, while the less experienced drivers earn much less. However, all IndyCar drivers are highly skilled and dedicated athletes who put their lives on the line every time they get behind the wheel.
Which IndyCar driver makes the most money and how much does he make?
Ask just about anyone this question, and the answer comes back the same: Scott Dixon. Again, these are just educated guesses, because his contract is not public, but multiple sources speculated the six-time series champion makes somewhere between $3.5 million and $4.5 million annually, making him the highest-paid driver in the series — which he has been for some time.
Which IndyCar driver makes the least money?
Even off the record, sources didn’t want to mention names. Typically though, it’s the drivers who have to bring a lot of budget to their teams to get a ride, they said. It’s not unheard of for some drivers not to take a salary during a season, though most do. On the low end for this season, one source guessed: maybe $250,000-$350,000.
“Of the 24 regular-season drivers, everyone is compensated to some extent. … No one is ‘driving for free.’ It’s just a matter of what that funding is.”
As a reminder, that’s among full-time drivers. One-off entries in the Indianapolis 500 can run the gamut. Not long ago, Conor Daly reminded us of that. The Noblesville native took out a loan to cover the remaining cost of his entry in the 2018 Indianapolis 500 and told the Indianapolis Star, “I’m not scheduled to make any money on this deal unless I finish in, like, the top four.” Daly finished 21st in that race and didn’t see a dime of the $200,305 he “won” in that race.
Do IndyCar drivers make more money now than they used to?
That’s tough to answer. Overall, multiple sources agreed, there is less money in the sport than during its heyday in the ’80s and ’90s. Near the turn of the century, a source said, even a one-car program could cost about $13 million.
“Now you can run two cars, pretty much, on that budget,” he said.
The infamous Split of 1996 had an adverse effect on budgets and driver salaries, the source added. The biggest part of the dip probably occurred around 2007 or 2008, just before unification. But over the past five or six years, salaries have been on the rise.
“There’s more money for drivers than there was even five or six years ago,” a source said.
A second source speculated that Dixon’s salary now is probably higher than the cream of the crop — even before the split.
Who negotiates IndyCar driver contracts?
Again, the answer to this varies from driver to driver and team to team. On the team side, many owners negotiate the deals themselves. Others have team presidents, CFOs, COOs or someone else of that ilk to conduct negotiations.
On the driver side, a select few will negotiate deals themselves, but most have some sort of representation, an agent or a manager, who negotiate their contracts.
“It depends on the driver’s personality,” one source said. “Some don’t want the distraction of dealing with that and just want to focus on driving the car. …. Some drivers don’t want the added expense of paying for a manager. But a majority of drivers have someone who act for them.”
Mario, Michael and Marco Andretti for example, have worked with agent/lawyer John Caponigro, for decades. The former CART president and COO has clients that span all of sports. Among his more famous clients, he’s represented racing stars Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish as well as Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo and Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. In 2018, he negotiated Graham Rahal’s most recent contract extension with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
But not all drivers hire agents or managers to do their negotiating.
Pieter Rossi, Alexander Rossi’s father, has typically been the point person in his son’s contract negotiations, while former Formula 1 and CART driver Stefan Johansson has served as Dixon’s agent for years. He has represented other drivers in the series, as well, including Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist.
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