The Indianapolis 500 is one of the biggest events on the sports calendar, and this year's event features some of the best drivers in the world.
While a number of contenders have a chance to win the prestigious event, the recent qualifying will play a big role in the race. In the last nine years, the driver starting in pole position went on to win four times.
Last year was the first time in seven years that the eventual winner did not come from the first two rows at the start.
This is what makes the qualifying so important, and these top competitors were impacted the most heading into the Indy 500.
Marco Andretti (No. 3)
The Andretti name has a lot of prestige in the racing world, and Marco is the latest to try to make his mark on the sport.
Of course, the young driver has proved that he is more than just his name this season. He is currently third in the championship points standings thanks to a number of top-10 finishes this year.
His next step is to win the Indy 500, where he has finished in third place twice in his career. However, this will be the first time that he will start in the first row, which gives him an advantage over the field.
Getting a good start should give this talented driver as good a chance of winning as anyone in the competition.
Dario Franchitti (No. 17)
Only A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears have ever won the Indianapolis 500 four times in their careers. Franchitti is looking to join that group after winning for the third time last year.
His 2012 victory might have been the most impressive given that he started at the No. 16 spot. As surprising as this come-from-behind win was, he will try to do it again in 2013 after earning the No. 17 spot at the starting line.
Since World War II, only four drivers have ever won this race while starting from the No. 17 spot or worse. This does not bode well for Franchitti's chances of a repeat.
The British driver still has the skill and experience to be a contender in this race, but the lineup will make it difficult.
Ed Carpenter (No. 1)
Despite competing in IndyCar for parts of 11 years, Ed Carpenter has never been one of the top drivers. In 132 starts, he has two wins and only seven top-five finishes.
If he is ever going to make an impact, now is the time.
Carpenter earned the pole position in the upcoming race after reaching 228.762 mph during the qualifying. He needs to use this to his advantage and do his best to stay in front of the pack for the duration of the race.
The veteran likely would not have gotten a second look with an average qualifying, but this position puts him in the conversation for the top contenders. The Indianapolis native cannot afford to let this opportunity slip through the cracks.
Full Starting Lineup (via Indycar.com)
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