It made him an instant millionaire but Australia’s Will Power would happily give up his 2018 Indianapolis 500 winnings to triump in the iconic race again.
Power took home just under half of the $US2.5m ($3.2m) prizemoney when he became Australia’s first Indianapolis 500 winner three years ago, with the remainder being shared among his team.
The 40-year-old, however, would hand it all back if it meant he could celebrate at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Sunday (Monday AM AEST).
“Who cares about the purse? You just wanna win the race,” Power told Autosport’s race preview podcast.
“I’d give up that money in a heartbeat to win the race.
“I don’t care about the money, I just want the win.”
Power will start the 105th running of the 500-mile race on the 11th and final row of the grid, alongside former Supercars driver Simona De Silvestro, after nearly missing out on starting the race altogether.
The Penske Racing star brushed a wall during Bump Day, where five drivers compete for the last three spots on the grid, but was able to get through along with De Silvestro and Sage Karam.
Power’s teammate and IndyCar rookie Scott McLaughlin will start Sunday’s race 17th.
Ahead of his first Indy 500 appearance, the New Zealander has found himself the victim of an on-track prank with someone placing dozens of inflatable sheep around his motorhome.
“There are sheep everywhere,” McLaughlin said, adding he suspected several drivers of being culpable including Power.
“I count 30.”
Fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon will start the race from pole position for the fourth time in his illustrious career as he aims to add a second Indy 500 win to his 2008 success.
The green flag for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 is set to wave at 12.45pm on Sunday (0245 Monday AEST).