MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 20: IndyCar CEO Mark Miles speaks during a press conference on the state of the sport following practice for the NTT IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on September 20, 2019 in Monterey, California.
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

IndyCar to Increase Leaders Circle Payout

The NTT IndyCar Series has some good news for the top 22 entries in the series championship for the 2024 season.

The series has a system called the Leaders Circle. This socialized financial distribution program gathers most of the prize money that would be paid during the season and distributes it evenly among the car entries that finish inside the top 22 in the standings before the start of the next season.

The system debuted in the early 2000s, when the series was owned and run by the Hulman George family. It was designed to help attract new teams as well as provide a financial incentive for struggling teams that rarely finished well to stay in the series. All a car entrant had to do was race in all the series' races and finish in the top 22 in the points standings to earn the payout. The series has kept the Leaders Circle program under the ownership of Roger Penske.

Heading into the 2024 season, Penske Entertainment has happily agreed to increase the value of each of the 22 Leaders Circle contracts that are paid.

In 2022, the payout per Leaders Circle contract was worth $1,060,000 before it was cut down to $910,000 for 2023. That cut by Penske Entertainment didn't sit well with a majority of IndyCar's top team owners.

The ownership has heard complaints from more than drivers and owners, as public awareness seems to have pressured Penske to increase the payment. IndyCar and Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles offered reassurance that when the teams receive their new contracts at the end of the month, they should be happier, he told Marshall Pruett from

"Typical funding will be restored," Miles said. "We'll maybe have some news about the total amount, but it'll be seven figures. And there will not be a deduction for help with promotions."

This increase comes at a great time for a lot of independent business owners that make up and compete at a high level in the series. Many of the final few spots of those 22 Leaders Circle entries always put up a tough fight throughout the season. The 2023 season saw plenty of tough racing as Meyer Shank Racing, Andretti Autosport, AJ Foyt Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing all had cars locked in tight battles for the final paying spots.

The increased Leaders Circle payout comes at a time of transition for IndyCar as the series will adopt hybrid engines some time after the this year's Indy 500, which will also require some adaptation to the chassis. After an offseason largely filled with negative news, the NTT IndyCar Series begins 2024 on a positive note.

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