IndyCar announced on Wednesday the 2013 Leaders Circle program has expanded to cover 22 full-time entrants.
The 22 cars have committed to compete in the entire 19-race IZOD IndyCar Series season. The 19 returning members that finished in the top 22 in 2012 entrant points each have been awarded Leaders Circle designations. IndyCar used its option to fill the three open positions based on the remaining order of 2012 entrant point standings.
One entry from Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, HVM Racing and Dragon Racing each were awarded Leaders Circle positions. In 2012, the program featured 20 entrants. Each Leaders Circle member is assured a minimum of $1 million for the 19-race season if the entrant successfully qualifies for the Indianapolis 500.
With the increase in Leaders Circle entrants from 20 to 22 this season, non-Leaders Circle entrants will compete for payouts awarded to the top three finishers. In each race aside from the Indianapolis 500, the highest-finishing non-Leaders Circle entrant will receive $40,000, followed by $35,000 and $30,000.
Additionally, all entrants will continue to compete for bonuses of $35,000 for first place, $25,000 for second, $20,000 for third, $15,000 for fourth and $10,000 for fifth place at each IZOD IndyCar Series race aside from the Indianapolis 500.
The IZOD IndyCar Series champion and championship entrant again will share a $1 million bonus, with second through fifth in the standings sharing bonuses of $250,000, $175,000, $125,000 and $75,000.