InyCar's grandest spectacle is set for takeoff, with the 98th running of the Indy 500 taking place on Sunday afternoon.
The long, grueling race weeds out the pretenders from the premier racers looking for a significant boost in the IndyCar standings. Established names will look to bolster their legacy while some rising stars can become household names with a strong showing.
Fans can watch the Indy 500 on ABC or stream it online through ESPN. Here's the essential viewing information for the big day.
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
Indy 500 Preview
Ed Carpenter once again claimed the starting pole position, giving the hometown favorite another chance to make his local fans proud.
The 33-year-old, who has delegated his team's street and road course races to Mike Conway, has enjoyed his week of basking in the glory after winning the poll, per Sports Illustrated's Andrew Lawrence.
"It's so unique because there's no other race where you can win the pole and sit around for a week before you actually go run the race," Carpenter said. "It gives people a chance to pat you on the back longer than other races. It's fun."
Last year, however, he finished in 10th place despite boasting the premium starting spot. While he has proven successful at the daring qualifying runs, he is now tasked with cashing in those results on the grand stage.
He's not the only veteran seeking a major accolade in Indiana. Helio Castroneves is chasing his fourth Indy 500 title, which would give him partial ownership of the record, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
While the 39-year-old legend can't be counted out, he has only won three of his last 55 races since 2011. He may not receive many more chances at becoming the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's most frequent victor.
Kurt Busch, more known for his NASCAR prowess, will work two shifts on Sunday and race both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. He'll become the fourth driver to compete in both events for a combined 1,100 miles.
The 35-year-old is still a newcomer to IndyCar driving, a harrowing fact he admitted to the Associated Press' Dan Gelston.
It hasn't been overwhelming, but at the same time each day in the Indy car I'm a student and I'm learning. How many times have we all told ourselves if I would have known now what I could have known then? The way to approach this is to have fun. I have zero IndyCar experience and I'm trying to elevate my game over there to be competitive. Yes, it's difficult.
Don't consider Busch a prolific contender, but it will be intriguing to see if he can hold his own and successfully transition back to NASCAR.
Entrenched in a close battle atop the IndyCar standings, Will Power and 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay have both performed tremendously through four starts. They have each tallied one win and three top-five finishes, while Power earned a top-10 finish in the holdover.
Hunter-Reay ranks first among all drivers with 109 laps lead ahead of Power's 89. After those two, Takuma Soto is a distant third with 33. They can prove their hot start is no fluke by winning the most anticipated event of the year.
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