INDYCAR will crown its 2019 NTT IndyCar Series champion Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and to the victor goes a spot on the historic Astor Cup, which dates to 1915.
Originally known as the Astor Challenge Cup, the sterling silver trophy was commissioned by Vincent Astor for a 350-mile race on a 2-mile board track in Sheepshead Bay, N.Y. That inaugural race was held in October 1915 with a purse of $50,000, a figure matching the Indianapolis 500 purse of that year. Gil Anderson and the Stutz team outlasted a field of 20 to win in 3 hours, 24 minutes, 42 seconds.
The names of all Indy car champions through the years are laser-etched into the three black granite bases supporting the trophy that keeps a permanent home in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The winning driver and team receive a replica trophy.
For “Wednesday’s Word,” members of INDYCAR's paddock, including former champions and current title contenders, describe the Astor Cup in a single word.
Conor Daly, driver of Andretti Autosport's No. 25 U.S. Air Force Honda
Alexander Rossi, driver of Andretti Autosport's No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda
Mike Hull, Managing Director, Chip Ganassi Racing
Sebastien Bourdais, four-time Indy car champion and driver of No. 18 SealMaster Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan
Owen Snyder, Two-time Indianapolis 500-winning chief mechanic (with Al Unser Jr. in 1992 and Eddie Cheever in 1998)
Scott Dixon, five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion and driver of Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 9 PNC Bank Honda
Josef Newgarden, 2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion, driver of Team Penske's No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet and shown above after winning the Astor Cup
Alex Offenbach, Damper Specialist, Harding Steinbrenner Racing
INDYCAR concludes its 17-race season with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday. Television coverage will begin on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT local) with the green flag scheduled for 3:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m. local). Live radio broadcasts will be available on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM 205, Sirius 98, Internet/App 970).