INDIANAPOLIS -- Scott Dixon was exhilarated and screaming. He also felt alone, dazed by winning the Indianapolis 500. A day after the biggest victory of his life, he took a more leisurely spin around Indy. He rode slowly around the 2 1/2-mile oval on a white speedway bus, surrounded by microphones, notepads and cameras.
"Winning here, it's like nothing else," Dixon said.
The 27-year-old New Zealander was "almost dumbfounded" when he got to Victory Lane. "It's such a strange feeling," he said. "It's almost like you're in a dreamland."
On Monday morning, Dixon was struggling for perspective.
"Seeing yourself on the front page and drinking the milk. It's just the little things like that that add to it, and you start to feel the sensation of it," he said.
The winner's share of $2,988,065, announced Monday night, broke the record of $1,761,740 for Buddy Rice's win in 2004.
The total purse was $14,406,580, topping the $10,668,815 set last year. The only richer prize package in auto racing is for NASCAR's Daytona 500 at about $18 million.
Nobody disputes that Dixon is one of the best drivers in the IRL's IndyCar Series. But because he is quiet and generally stays out of trouble on the track, he is often overlooked.
In the days leading to the race, the bright lights were on Indy glamour girl Danica Patrick.
She started fifth but got taken out on pit road with 30 laps to go when Ryan Briscoe spun his tires and slammed into her car coming out of his pit. The enduring image from the race most likely will be of the 5-foot-1, 100-pound Patrick stomping toward Briscoe's pit stall, ripping off her gloves, looking for a fight. She was stopped by track security.
"It's probably a better idea that I didn't make it all the way down there anyway," she said. "Because, well, as you guys know, I'm a little emotional."
Carbon monoxide kills fan at Indy
Authorities were uncertain of the source of the carbon monoxide that filled a family's recreational vehicle near Indianapolis Motor Speedway, killing one person and leaving three hospitalized.The gas killed Michael Thies, 43, and sickened four members of his family inside the RV parked across the street from the speedway, where they were found unresponsive shortly before Sunday's Indianapolis 500. Police say the carbon monoxide did not appear to have come from the family's RV.
Lt. Trent Theobald of the town of Speedway police department, said no criminal wrongdoing was suspected, but he did not know when a determination would be made on the source of the fumes.
The RV was among several parked close to each other just outside the speedway's Turn 4.
Frank Stallion, 42, of Hickory, told reporters he and his wife were in an RV next to Thies. He said investigators told him they were looking at the possibility that his auxiliary generator caused the carbon monoxide fumes.
(All cars Dallara-Honda)
|21||31||A.J. Foyt IV||180||$311,815|
AVERAGE SPEED: 143.567 mph. TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 28 minutes, 57.679 seconds. MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.750 seconds. CAUTION FLAGS: Eight for 69 laps. LEAD CHANGES: 18 among nine drivers. LAP LEADERS: Dixon 1-2, Wheldon 3-9, Junqueira 10-11, Rice 12-19, Wheldon 20-35, Dixon 36-74, Wheldon 75-79, Dixon 80-91, Wheldon 92-93, Kanaan 94-105, Dixon 105-121, M.Andretti 122-135, Moraes 136-138, M.Andretti 139, Dixon 140-155, Carpenter 156-158, Dixon 159, Meira 160-171, Dixon 172-200. *REASON OUT: 1. Wreck; 2. Mechanical.