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Indy 500 2021: Start Time, Lineup, TV Schedule and More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 29, 2021

Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, pulls out of the pits during the final practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday, May 28, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Scott Dixon has had a perfect buildup to the 2021 Indianapolis 500. 

The six-time IndyCar Series champion won pole last Sunday and topped the practice chart on Friday.

Dixon has not won the Indy 500 since 2008, but everything points to him at least being in contention for the victory for most of Sunday's 200-mile competition. 

The New Zealander will be partnered by Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay on the front row, while Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan and Alex Palou will try to make early moves to the front from Row 2. 

Dixon is one of nine former Indy 500 champions in the field. Reigning champion Takuma Sato starts in 15th place.

        

Indianapolis 500 Info

Date: Sunday, May 30

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Start Time: 12:45 p.m. ET 

TV: NBC broadcast begins at 11 a.m. ET 

Live Stream: NBCSports.com or NBC Sports app

Starting Lineup: The full starting lineup can be found here

    

Dixon was the only driver to top 228 miles per hour on Friday, which is known as Carb Day during Indy 500 weekend. 

The overall average speed was three miles per hour less than what Dixon recorded last Sunday, when he captured pole during the "Fast Nine" portion of qualifying.

Herta and VeeKay were in the bottom third of speed on Carb Day, but that may not be an indicator of where they will land on Sunday. 

The two other front-row starters did not run as many laps as others on Friday, and they need to save their speed for the 500-mile race. 

Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, who were second and third on Carb Day, ran 89 and 93 laps, respectively, while Dixon only ran 47 circuits around the track. 

Pagenaud and Newgarden's success is a positive development for the Chevrolet cars. VeeKay and Ed Carpenter were the only Chevrolet drivers to crack the "Fast Nine". 

If the speed translates to Sunday, there could be a more level playing field between the two manufacturers. 

Will Power and Pagenaud won for Chevrolet in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Sato pulled back the title for Honda in 2020 with his second win in four years. 

Sato is one of the few former champions who could cause Dixon trouble throughout the race. He won in August by only leading 23 laps. 

Three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves, 2016 winner Alexander Rossi, 2013 champion Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who took first in 2014, all start inside the top 10.

One of those experienced drivers could take over in early battles with the younger racers, like Herta and VeeKay, who have three Indy 500 starts between them. 

In addition to the Chevrolet-versus-Honda battle, the tussle between experienced and younger drivers should take center stage on Sunday. 

Rossi was the last Indy 500 rookie to win in 2016 and a majority of the winners in the last decade were aged in their 30s or 40s.

           

Statistics obtained from IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com.

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