The Top Storylines to Follow Ahead of the 2014 Indy 500

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The Top Storylines to Follow Ahead of the 2014 Indy 500
USA TODAY Sports

There's never only one thing that stands out at the Indianapolis 500. 

No, that's not a contradiction; it's fact. For every time the green flag and 33 cars and drivers go forward, you essentially have 33 different storylines going forward as well. 

But this year's 500, the 98th edition of the so-called "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," has several storylines that just stand out from the pack and deserve special attention and notoriety.

The most notable storylines include NASCAR's Kurt Busch becoming the first driver in a decade to attempt the "Double"—racing in the 500 in the early afternoon and then doubling-up by racing the same evening 600 miles away in the, not coincidentally and aptly-named Coca-Cola 600, Sprint Cup's longest and most grueling event of the season.

For as many eyes that will be on Busch, there will also be eyes on former NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who has returned back to his open-wheel racing roots this season in the IndyCar Series, as well as Jacques Villeneuve.

In an interesting twist of fate, Montoya and Villeneuve will be attempting to defend their wins in the last Indy 500 each man competed in prior to Sunday: Villeneuve won the 1995 500, while Montoya won the 2000 race.

Because both left the Indy car circuit after those respective seasons to drive in Formula One, they never had a chance to properly defend those titles. Can they pick up where they left off 14 and 19 years, respectively?

As USA Today put it, "The returns of Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve are among many storylines that could restore some of the luster the Greatest Spectacle in Racing has been struggling to recapture over the past two decades."

Montoya sure feels that way, telling USA Today"I do believe the future is very bright for IndyCar. They're definitely on the way up. They really want to put it back where it was."

Let's take a look at eight of the top storylines that every race fan needs to keep an eye on in this Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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