It was announced on Monday that Dan Wheldon's dramatic race win at the end of Sunday's centennial Indianapolis 500 had netted him a total pay packet of $2,567,255
The $2.5m comes from an overall race prize purse of $13,509,485, which is split between the entrants depending on their performance in qualification, places made up during the race - and of course their final finishing position. The drivers might be racing primarily for the thrill of the sport and because they want to win above all else, but no one's denying that the pay cheque has a certain appeal to it as well.
How the funds are shared out by the driver depends on the commercial arrangements with his team, but Wheldon will certainly keep a nice chunk of walking-around money to see himself through 2011 despite not having a regular IndyCar drive.
Wheldon beat JR Hildebrand in the last seconds of the race, after Hildebrand went up too high, got onto the marbles and smashed into the wall - although the car did end up carrying on by sheer momentum over the finish line marked by the famous "yard of bricks" to pick up second place.
The 23-year-old Californian rookie will pick up a pay cheque of $1,064,895
, together with the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Award which adds another $25,000 and a trophy, although these will be scant consolation for losing out on the historic victory that was so nearly his.
Alex Tagliani nets $492,245
from Indianapolis thanks to the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone; Tagliani crashed on lap 148 and was ultimately classified in 28th position.
Third-place finisher Graham Rahal climbed up from 29th position during the 200 laps, giving him a bonus award for the greatest advance in position in the race and consequently takes home a cheque of $646,945
for his career-best Indianapolis finish.
Tony Kanaan's climb from 22nd on the grid to finish fourth was nearly as good, and he earned $438,745
for his fourth top-five finish in the Indy 500.
And former Indy 500 champion Scott Dixon - who was the bookies' favourite for the win and who looked very much the man to beat for much of the race - receives $519,345
for finishing in fifth position.