Indy 500 2022: Odds, Storylines to Watch in Starting Grid on Today's Schedule
Over the past 11 years, the Indianapolis 500 has been won by 10 different drivers. Will another unique car end up racing to victory in 2022? Or could one of these recent winners find themselves again drinking milk in Victory Lane?
We'll find out Sunday, as that's when the 106th edition of the prestigious race is set to take place. The 2022 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m. ET. NBC coverage of the event will start at 11 a.m. ET.
Scott Dixon is on the pole for this year's race and will be joined on the front row by Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay. The only driver who has won the Indy 500 multiple times over the past decade is Takuma Sato (2017 and 2020), and he'll be starting in 10th.
Here's everything else you need to know heading into this year's Indianapolis 500.
Top Odds to Win 2022 Indy 500
Scott Dixon: +550 (bet $100 to win $550)
Alex Palou: +600
Pato O'Ward: +900
Rinus VeeKay: +1100
Josef Newgarden: +1200
Will Power: +1400
Scott McLaughlin: +1600
Takuma Sato: +1600
Marcus Ericsson: +1600
Jimmie Johnson: +1600
Ed Carpenter: +1800
Colton Herta: +2000
Felix Rosenqvist: +2000
Tony Kanaan: +2000
Alexander Rossi: +2500
Simon Pagenaud: +2500
Helio Castroneves: +2800
Graham Rahal: +3000
Romain Grosjean: +3000
Marco Andretti: +5000
Conor Daly: +5000
David Malukas: +5000
Complete odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook
Dixon Looking to End Indy 500 Drought from Pole
Scott Dixon earned the pole position for the Indianapolis 500 for the second consecutive year and the fifth time overall. However, his strong starting spots in recent years haven't always translated to success in the race.
Dixon's lone Indy 500 victory came in 2008, when he started first and led 115 of the 200 laps in a dominant showing. Since then, he's finished in the top five six times in the race, but he's never been able to get back to Victory Lane. Last year, he ended up 17th after running out of fuel while getting stuck on the track during a caution, resulting in him going in for emergency service and falling a lap down.
This year, Dixon appears motivated to make sure that things go better for his No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
"I just want to win—that's all it comes down to," Dixon said, per Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press.
Dixon has a fast car, as his four-lap average of 234.046 mph in qualifying broke the pole record of 233.718, which was set by Scott Brayton in 1996. If Dixon stays out in front Sunday, it could be difficult for the other 32 drivers to catch him.
Castroneves Seeking Record-Breaking 5th Indy 500 Win
There hasn't been a driver to win back-to-back Indy 500s since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002. After winning the race last year, the Brazilian is now looking to do it again. And if he does, he'll make major history in the process.
Entering this year's Indianapolis 500, the 47-year-old has four career victories in the race (2001, 2002, 2009 and 2021). That has him tied with A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser for the most wins in the event's long, illustrious history.
If Castroneves can race to victory on Sunday, he'll stand alone as the Indy 500's winningest driver. He'll have to work his way up through the field, though, as he'll be starting 27th. But the 47-year-old is ready to try to make that happen.
"I want it a lot," Castroneves said, per Dave Kallmann of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I want to do something nobody ever did. That’s what A.J. said: Records are made to be broken. We tied the record. Now it’s time to do something nobody ever did. Am I going to fight for it? Absolutely right. Is it going to happen? We’re going to see on Sunday."
It's not easy to win the Indianapolis 500 when starting as far back in the field as Castroneves. But it's also wise to never count him out at this race.
How Will Johnson Fare in Indy 500 Debut?
Jimmie Johnson is a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. He's won the Daytona 500 twice. And he's even been victorious at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having raced to victory in the Brickyard 400 four times. But there's one thing he's never done: race the Indy 500.
That changes Sunday, as the 46-year-old is set to make his Indianapolis 500 debut in the No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. He's starting in 12th place and will be competing in his 18th career IndyCar race since joining the series last year.
Juan Pablo Montoya, a two-time Indy 500 winner who raced against Johnson in NASCAR and will share the track with him again Sunday, sees Johnson as a legitimate contender to win.
"He knows how to go through the good and the bad in a long race, and other people just don’t," Montoya said, per NASCAR.com's Holly Cain. "And he’s got a good car. Right now, you have to say the good cars, based on speed, are the Ganassi cars and he’s one of them. I know Jimmie and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be there [at the end]."
In March, Johnson finished sixth in the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway, marking his only top-10 finish in the IndyCar Series. Perhaps he'll fare even better at Indianapolis.
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