Ericsson is enjoying the busy schedule for the new King of Indy 500

Two hours of sleep, a missing voice and a message from the King of Sweden. Those are just the highlights of Marcus Ericsson’s whirlwind 24 hours after becoming the Indianapolis 500 champion.

Ericsson crossed the legendary Yard of Bricks and won round 106 of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge just after 3:30 pm (ET) last Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The spoils of victory began immediately.

He climbed onto the winners’ podium, sipped on a whole milk long drink and celebrated with his No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Team. He then drove the Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car around the famous 2.5 mile oval to greet the fans and met his team at the Yard of Bricks to kiss the bricks.

After that, the long hours really began: A live interview on ESPN “SportsCenter”, five interviews from local television station Indianapolis, a 40-minute press conference at the DEX Imaging Media Center at IMS, a Firestone commitment and more motorsport media interviews.

After dinner with family and longtime sponsors, Swedish driver Ericsson said he couldn’t sleep when he returned to his RV parked in the IMS infield early Monday morning. His girlfriend Iris woke up at 2am as Ericsson rewatched the race that had changed his life forever hours earlier.

Former Formula One driver Ericsson finally fell asleep around 3am but was awake again within two hours, partly because he couldn’t sleep and partly because his commitments for the day after began.

“It’s just… it’s amazing,” Ericsson said. “I’m struggling with processing everything and realizing that it actually happened. I have trouble believing it.

“It’s been pretty crazy since the checkered flag. It was super hectic. I could not sleep. I went to bed just too excited to sleep. I’m exhausted but I can’t relax.”

Overnight, Ericsson of Kumla, Sweden received a special message of congratulations from Carl XVI. Gustaf, better known as the King of Sweden. A well-known racing fan and someone who has previously competed in Formula 1 races with Ericsson, the King sent a message to Ericsson’s manager praising Ericsson for winning The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“It’s amazing,” Ericsson said. “I’ve been lucky enough to meet him a couple of times and I know he’s a huge racing fan. But still it is something very special. It’s the King of Sweden so it means so much to me to hear from him. I am so happy and thankful.”

Ericsson’s hectic Monday began with an 8:15am radio interview, followed by a meet and greet with Jostens – the company that makes the coveted Indy 500 winner’s ring. From there he had a photo shoot for BorgWarner so sculptor Will Behrends could begin preparing his likeness for the Borg-Warner Trophy where Ericsson’s historic achievement will live forever.

Ericsson then proceeded to a two-hour photoshoot with his winning car, Borg-Warner Trophy, wreath and the entirety of Chip Ganassi Racing at the Yard of Bricks. Ericsson received a standing ovation when he arrived at the photoshoot, which doesn’t happen often.

From there, Ericsson was joined by sponsors, organizations, family, friends and more to commemorate his historic win. Team owner Chip Ganassi took it to the next level, making sure every employee at Chip Ganassi Racing, even those of the four other cars he competed in the Indianapolis 500, got a photo with Ericsson to celebrate the first Indy 500 win of the year organization for a decade to celebrate.

The cameras hadn’t stopped clicking, and Ericsson asked for a cup of tea. After 16 hours of cheering, shouting and “thank yous” Ericsson lost his voice. He still had four hours of interviews ahead of him, as did that evening’s Indy 500 victory celebration in downtown Indianapolis.

Finally, tea arrived, as did a quick bite for lunch, before moving on to interviews with IndyStar, Associated Press, The Race, NBC Sports, USA Today, a virtual meetup with INDYCAR Nation fan club members and more.

Through everything or through what didn’t add up, Ericsson said his favorite moment in the 24 hours after winning the world’s largest one-day sporting event was one of the Indy 500 traditions, which doesn’t exist in sports.

“Kissing the rocks with the whole team, that was super cool,” he said. “It’s a bit strange kissing the bricks, isn’t it? But it was really, really cool.”

The fun didn’t stop at the Indy 500 Victory Celebration at the JW Marriott, where Ericsson received the largest Indy 500 winner payout in history at $3.1 million. Immediately after the event ended, he boarded a private jet and flew to New York City to continue the victory celebration, where he landed around 2 a.m

His schedule for Tuesday included ringing the opening bell for NASDAQ, visiting the Empire State Building and more.

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