The 98th running of the Indy 500 presents a stacked field for the crown jewel of the IndyCar season.
It also marks the 50th time ABC will handle coverage duties for the special event, and legends will both compete and be unearthed over the course of 200 dramatic laps littered with noteworthy storylines.
Here is a look at how coverage will be handled and a few racers worth keeping a close eye on.
When: Sunday, May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Start Time: Green Flag at 12:12 p.m. EST
TV Info: ABC, coverage begins at 11 a.m. EST
Live Stream: ESPN3
Racers to Watch
One of the lone Americans with a shot to break the longest winless streak in race history—an American has not won since 2006—Ed Carpenter once again clutches the green flag and will look to do better than his No. 10 finish last season.
Carpenter failed to meet lofty expectations last year after claiming the pole, and he told the Associated Press, via Sports Illustrated, that the pressure of the position is a real thing: "But when you're on the front row, it can end up putting some unwarranted pressure on you."
Carpenter is now armed with the experience of last year's starting position, and it's worth monitoring how he does after an up-and-down showing last season. His bid to end the lengthy streak may very well come to fruition.
Juan Pablo Montoya
It has been 14 years since Juan Pablo Montoya claimed the checkered flag in Indianapolis and then took his talents to Formula One.
“(I have) just a lot more experience,” Montoya said. “Smarter, wiser. But at the same time you’ve got to figure out everything again. I’ve been outside of an open wheel car for a long time.”
As USA Today's Nate Ryan notes, Montoya was in the conversation with the contenders for most of the trials:
Ed Carpenter is fastest on the final day of qualifying at 231.067 mph. Second-fastest lap was Juan Pablo Montoya (231.007) in 10th. #indycar— Nate Ryan (@nateryan) May 18, 2014
Montoya is a surefire contender on Sunday given his versatile experience and past winning ways. Many racers admire his career, which will grow in prestige if he can cross the finish line first.
A Memorial Day Double has only been attempted a handful of times in history, but that won't stop Kurt Busch.
He is the latest to attempt the feat, which requires that he races in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 later in the day. As history shows, great performances are quite rare, save for one by Tony Stewart:
|Year||Driver||Indy 500 Finish||Coke 600 Finish||Miles Completed|
|2001||Tony Stewart||6th||3rd||All 1,100|
One Dale Earnhardt Jr. spoke about how important Busch's attempt is, via Fox Sports NASCAR:
As one of the most talented racers in the sport, Busch certainly has what it takes to make history. In the first of his two races on the day, look for Busch to come out aggressively and be in contention throughout.