Billed as the "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the Indianapolis 500 is one of the biggest events on the sports calendar, and the starting lineup for this year's race features some heavy hitters.
Ed Carpenter shocked everyone by winning the pole, and he becomes the first Indiana native to lead the field since 1951, according to KSTP-TV's Chris Long:
Chris Long @ChrisLongKSTP
Ed Carpenter wins the pole for #Indy 500 (228.762 MPH) will be first Indiana native to lead the 500 field to the green flag since 1957.5/18/2013, 11:17:10 PM
Last year's winner and three-time champ, Dario Franchitti, will be racing from the middle of the 33-car field, starting from the No. 17 spot. He's not the only three-time winner in the field, either. Helio Castroneves will also be attempting to win Indy 500 No. 4 from the No. 8 spot.
Here's the official start order for the big race, courtesy of the Indianapolis 500 official website:
|24||Simona De Silvestro||78|
Now it's time to look at which drivers will have the best chance to win this year's race.
If anyone is due for a big win, it's Andretti.
He has stood on the podium twice with two third-place finishes, and two other seventh-place finishes this year prove that Andretti will be one of the drivers to beat at this year's Indy 500.
All week long heading up to and during qualifying, Andretti's car has run well. Furthermore, he has finished on the podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway three times in the past seven attempts.
It's time for Andretti to finally win one at Indianapolis and break the "Andretti Curse."
Last year's winner and three-time champion, Franchitti, is still trying to find his groove this season on the IndyCar Series tour.
After a couple of disappointing races to start the year (two DNF), he's begun to come alive in the past couple of races, finishing in fourth place at Long Beach and in seventh place at Sau Paulo.
Franchitti and his crew struggled during qualifying, as his No. 17 start indicates, but he posted the top time on Day 5, according to Indy Motor Speedway:
Ind. Motor Speedway @IMS
Defending champ, @dariofranchitti fastest on #Indy500orBust day 5 with a speed of 224.236mph. http://t.co/iTErVqqfs35/15/2013, 10:56:42 PM
By the time the race hits the halfway point, Franchitti's start from the middle of the pack won't even be a factor. Provided he doesn't run into any mechanical malfunctions, he's going to be one of the racers in the thick of it at the end.
Hinchcliffe is the hottest racer in the IndyCar Series tour right now.
He's won two of the four races thus far in 2013. Granted, Hinchcliffe hasn't finished the other two races, getting stranded in Birmingham and crashing out in Long Beach.
But as long as his car is running well and he avoids a crash, Hinchcliffe will be one of the top drivers to beat. A strong showing in qualifying has him starting the race in the No. 9 spot, and at this point it would be foolish to count him out of this race.
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