It's that time, race fans. The greatest day in the racing year is nearly here. We're talking about the Indianapolis 500, of course, which is set for Sunday, May 28.
Whether you're going to Indy to experience the party or just plan on watching the action on television, you're in luck. We're here with everything you need to know for race weekend—including scheduling and television information.
We'll also examine the latest odds, courtesy of our friends at OddsShark.com.
2017 Indianapolis 500
Sunday, May 28
Race Time: 12:19 p.m.
Gates Open: 6 a.m.
Engine Start: 12:14 p.m.
National TV: ABC
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|2017 Indy 500|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||12-1|
What to Know
Bourdais Out of Hospital
If you've been following the buildup to the big race, you probably know that driver Sebastian Bourdais was involved in a serious crash during qualifying. Bourdais hit the barrier hard during his third lap in a crash that could have been much more severe if not for modern safety measures.
Bourdais was forced to undergo surgery to repair a broken pelvis:
The good news is that, while he won't be racing this weekend, Bourdais will be out of the hospital. According to Samuel Reiman of FoxSports.com, Bourdais was released on Thursday.
According to Bourdais, he may be back on the track before the end of the race season: "It's going to be a bit of a long road ahead. I still have six weeks before I can put weight on my right leg and put my foot on the ground, but after that it should be pretty smooth sailing. I'm really looking forward to the day I can get back in the car, and hopefully that will be before the end of the season. I look forward to seeing you guys at the track."
Racing fans will certainly be wishing Bourdais a speedy recovery.
Eyes On Alonso
While Bourdais won't be on the track this Sunday, Formula One standout Fernando Alonso will be—and he'll be commanding plenty of attention.
While Formula One might not be a marquee sport in America, it's huge in many parts of the world. In the sport, Alonso is a rock star. He's made 277 Formula One starts, has won 32 events and has won two championships. Now, he'll try his hand in the IndyCar series.
Formula One fans and IndyCar fans alike will be drawn to the Spaniard's rookie run in Indianapolis.
"I think having Fernando Alonso, who has a full-time Formula One ride and misses Monaco to come run the Indy 500—we would argue it's the most important race in the world—it has benefited us," circuit chairman Doug Boles said, per Nate Saunders of ESPN.com. "It has benefited us in terms of the buzz. Our younger drivers grew up watching Fernando Alonso."
Alonso has suffered some poor fortune with the McLaren F1 team in recent seasons, with the Honda-powered vehicles not living up to his high standards, but he would surely love to win a third championship before he leaves the racing classification. Racing legend Mario Andretti believes he could have a future on the IndyCar circuit when he does eventually seek a new challenge.
"He's a racer. He could probably even come here for one year and win his share, because he'll absolutely have the opportunity to do that, and then go back to Formula One," Andretti said, per Saunders.
Alonso's story is a bit different from 2016 Indy winner Alexander Rossi's. While Rossi also came from Formula One—and won at Indianapolis as a rookie—he never really made an impression in his five starts, while Alonso has 277 in his career.
Alonso is a much more experienced driver. Unsurprisingly, he's one of the favorites for Sunday.
If you're lucky enough to be in Indianapolis for race weekend, you won't lack for things to do. The entire weekend will be filled with events, parties and concerts.
The gates open at 8 a.m. on Friday, with the first of many speedway events taking place shortly thereafter. Live music begins Friday afternoon with concerts by Barenaked Ladies and the Steve Miller Band.
There will be autograph sessions on both Friday and Saturday, and the live music continues on Day 2. Saturday night's highlights include performances by Dustin Lynch and Keith Urban. The Indy 500 Snake Pit will host musical performances Sunday morning and afternoon. Artists in the Snake Pit include Adventure Club, Action Bronson and Zedd.
For the full list of race weekend events, check out the official website of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
There will be plenty to do and plenty to see, even if the race itself isn't what you're going for.