One of the wildest buildups to an Indianapolis 500 will conclude Sunday at the 2015 iteration of the event.
Crashes, shocking performances and more highlight the path to this year's Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The most notable buildup moment featured James Hinchcliffe's practice crash, which made global headlines when his injuries sent him to the hospital, according to BBC Sport.
Suffice it to say, the drivers will have much more on their mind than milk Sunday.
With their fellow driver in their thoughts, expect nothing short of an emotional 500 by a field still littered with elite talent. Here's a look at the important details surrounding the event.
Indy 500 Info
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Date: Sunday, May 24
Time: 12:15 p.m. ET
Live Stream: IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com
|Scott Dixon (first)||Will Power (second)||Simon Pagenaud (third)|
|Tony Kanaan (fourth)||Helio Castroneves (fifth)||Justin Wilson (sixth)|
|Sebastien Bourdais (seventh)||Marco Andretti (eighth)||Josef Newgarden (ninth)|
|J.R. Hildebrand (10th)||Carlos Munoz (11th)||Ed Carpenter (12th)|
|Oriol Servia (13th)||Charlie Kimball (14th)||Juan Pablo Montoya (15th)|
|Ryan Hunter-Reay (16th)||Graham Rahal (17th)||Carlos Huertas (18th)|
|Simona de Silvestro (19th)||James Jakes (20th)||Tristan Vautier (21st)|
|Alex Tagliani (22nd)||Sage Karam (23rd)||James Hinchcliffe (24th)|
|Conor Daly (25th)||Townsend Bell (26th)||Takuma Sato (27th)|
|Pippa Mann (28th)||Gabby Chaves (29th)||Sebastian Saavedra (30th)|
|Jack Hawksworth (31st)||Stefano Coletti (32nd)||Bryan Clauson (33rd)|
Last year, Ryan Hunter-Reay cruised to the finish line first in a memorable performance.
Hunter-Reay will start Sunday's event from the 16th spot and hope to become the first back-to-back winner in more than a decade, although a deep field will have something to say on the matter.
Take Helio Castroneves, for example. The 40-year-old legend enters the event seeking his fourth triumph in the spectacle and starts right in the thick of things in the second row.
There's also Scott Dixon, who won the pole this year. Fans and other drivers will be quick to recall that Dixon turned a 2008 pole position into a triumph. As IndyStar Sports captures, one of the sport's greats used a calm demeanor amid downright chaos to seize the top slot:
Right next to Dixon is Will Power, who now turns his undivided attention to securing his first Indy 500 victory after winning his IndyCar championship.
“Obviously, everyone is going to say the Indy 500 is the thing you want,” Power said, via USA Today's Brant James. “That’s it for sure, in this series, the next box to check.”
The recognizable faces don't stop there, though.
By now, everyone should know the plight of superstar Juan Pablo Montoya, who hasn't won the Indy 500 since 2000 but posted a notable fifth-place finish last year. He starts 15th, but if last year is any sign, he'll find his way into the thick of things before long.
Other than close competition, the theme of this year's race will focus on driver safety. This year the event features new body kits, which seems partly to blame for the increase in wrecks.
Ed Carpenter, who's also a serious contender Sunday, touched on the new elements surrounding the sport last week.
“We haven’t had cars doing that ever in my career, but things are a lot different this year,” he said, via James. “There’s aero kits. There’s a giant hole in our underwing. There’s a lot of things that are different. I don’t know that we understand why it’s going on at this point."
It makes for one of the more interesting events in the race's recent history as the sport continues to evolve and drivers' skills continue to increase.
In the end, fans can expect a mad dash to the finish line highlighted by big names such as Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, Dixon and Power. The eventual winner will prove more than worthy not just because of the ever-changing cars but also thanks to the sheer talent and depth of a stacked field.
Stats and info courtesy of IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com unless otherwise specified.