Kyle Larson claims Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year honors

The criteria for the award is detailed below

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Credit: Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kyle Larson has been named Rookie of the Year for the 108th Indianapolis 500.

The award, which also comes with a $50,000 bonus comes amidst an 18th place finish but also the entirety of his contributions over the traditional month of May. The highest finishing rookie on Sunday was actually Christian Rasmussen of Ed Carpenter Racing but the award factors numerous other factors.

Larson generated interest in the event due to his status as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver, the points leader entering the weekend, but also his stature as something akin to a modern-day AJ Foyt in how he races numerous categories throughout any given season.

He also earned marks for how gracious he was with fans despite the overwhelming interest in his entry.

Larson earned $128,000 for his finish, one marred by a pit road speeding penalty with 70 laps to go, one that negated what looked to be a possible top-five or better for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion. In total, Larson earned $178,000 for his effort.

The voters for the award are longstanding members of the IndyCar Series media corps but also select series officials. The criteria they are charged with considering are as follows:

(a) the driver’s skill
(b) sportsmanship
(c) accessibility and conduct during the month
(d) finishing position  

How the vote happens is best articulated by IndyCar Series officials in the following statement:

“Those who vote receive an email with instructions. The email outlines the criteria for selection. They then supply a first and second selection. We add up the votes.

“We ask the voters to weigh the four criteria equally. Ultimately, it’s their decision who they select as first and second and whether a certain factor weighs more heavily in their decision. We simply monitor the tally of votes supplied.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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