INDYCAR increases teams’ Leaders Circle payout to $1.25 million for 2015 (Update)

UPDATE Below, are the 21 Verizon IndyCar Series Leaders Circle entries for 2015. The only eligible team from 2014 to not elect for a 2015 entry was Andretti Autosport, as the team dropped from 4 to 3 Leaders Circle entries. Two confirmed full-season entries (#41 A.J. Foyt and #22 Team Penske) are not part of the Leaders Circle program.

Contrarily, two Leaders Circle entries (#8 Chip Ganassi Racing and #19 Dale Coyne Racing) have not confirmed their full-season programs. Ganassi has confirmed Sage Karam for next weekend's opener at St. Pete, while Coyne will run Italian Francesco Dracone for the first four races.

Full list below

Car Driver Hometown Car Name Aero kit/Engine Entrant
1 Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
2 Juan Pablo Montoya Bogota, Colombia Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
3 Helio Castroneves Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
4 Stefano Coletti Monaco, Monaco KV Racing Technology Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
5 James Hinchcliffe Toronto Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
7 James Jakes Leeds, England Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
8 Sage Karam (R) Nazareth, Pa. GE LED Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
9 Scott Dixon Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
10 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Brazil NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
11 Sebastien Bourdais Le Mans, France Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet KVSH Racing
14 Takuma Sato Tokyo ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises
15 Graham Rahal New Albany, Ohio Mi-Jack Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
18 Carlos Huertas Bogota, Colombia Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dale Coyne Racing
19 Francesco Dracone (R) Turin, Italy Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dale Coyne Racing
20 Luca Filippi Savigliano, Italy Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet CFH Racing
26 Carlos Munoz Bogota, Colombia AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda Andretti Autosport
27 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Snapple Honda Andretti Autosport
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Fort Lauderdale, Fla. DHL Honda Andretti Autosport
67 Josef Newgarden Hendersonville, Tenn. Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet CFH Racing
83 Charlie Kimball Camarillo, Calif. Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
98 Gabby Chaves (R) Bogota, Colombia Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda BHA with Curb-Agajanian

03/20/15 INDYCAR announced today an increase of $250,000 to its Leaders Circle program, which raises the total annual payment for eligible Verizon IndyCar Series entrants to $1.25 million.

A total of 21 entrants are entered in the Leaders Circle program for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

"INDYCAR is invested in the continued support of its teams," said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. "The Leaders Circle program rewards INDYCAR teams for full-season participation and helps each of them with an additional source of funding. The program is also an asset to our promoters as it guarantees over 20 cars at each Verizon IndyCar Series event. As INDYCAR continues to grow we're excited about opportunities like this that are beneficial to the teams that compete in our series."

The Leaders Circle program was established in 2002 to provide incentives to teams that participate full time in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Each Leaders Circle member is assured a minimum of $1.25 million if the entrant successfully qualifies for all of the 16 Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2015, including the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Twenty-one entrants were selected based on final 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series final entrant points.

All Leaders Circle entrants will continue to compete for bonuses that will now be paid to the top-12 finishers – an increase of two positions compared to 2014 – at each Verizon IndyCar Series race aside from the Indianapolis 500. Non-Leaders Circle entrants also will compete for payouts awarded to the top-three finishers in each race excluding the Indianapolis 500.

The Verizon IndyCar Series driver champion and championship entrant again will share a $1 million bonus, with second through 10th in the standings sharing bonuses totaling $320,000. The recipient of the Verizon IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award will receive a $50,000 bonus.

Contingency awards will continue to be presented at all Verizon IndyCar Series events. Read the full story.

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