Although the precise criteria for establishing eligibility for the five "outsider" invitational entries who will be shooting for a $5m bonus for winning the IZOD IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas remain to be spelled out, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has confirmed that IndyCar semi-regulars – or those, like Tony Kanaan – who find themselves without rides this season, will not be eligible. On the other hand, Bernard said he was open to the idea of luring a retired IndyCar legend, such as Al Unser Jr. or Michael Andretti, into a comeback by offering them the bonus. Bernard also mentioned Travis Pastrana, the motocross and motorcycle stunt star who is racing in NASCAR Nationwide this year, as another possibility.
"(They) would sell tickets...create viewership," Bernard told the Indianapolis Star. "I don't want anybody holding out (from regular IndyCar Series participation) just to do this. Like Tony Kanaan. He wouldn't be eligible. I've had several calls from guys like that. There's no chance of that."
Andretti has not commented on whether he would be interested – although son Marco joked that "if Grandfather [Mario] hears about this, we might be a five-car team!" While Unser Jr. – who was present at the Las Vegas press conference where the race, and associated bonus, was announced – posted on his Twitter account that he might be interested, he subsequently told the Star he was kidding.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart also downplayed interest in taking part on Friday, saying the logistics of taking part and being competitive were prohibitive.