There are 40 drivers anxiously awaiting the Month of may at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, along with thousands of fans. To run in the single greatest auto race in the world, such honor and pride, a memory that will last a lifetime. Oh, and there are only 33 open spots that the 40 drivers are going to be shooting for.
Although seven drivers will miss out on the race this season, it will only add to the drama and excitement that is already building here in Indy. The new qualification format is one thing to watch in the condensed two week event, and the shuffling amongst all of the drivers and teams is also going to be fun to watch.
The 40 entries for this year's "500" is the most since 2002, and marks the seventh straight year where the number of entries has increased.
There are four past winners who will be competing in this year's race (Helio, Dixon, Dario, and Wheldon). Those four may highlight the field, but there are four other drivers looking to make a huge impact.
There are four women vying for a spot in this year's race, and they could all realistically make the field. Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher, Milka Duno, and Simona De Silvestro are all gunning for the chance to be the first woman to win the historic race.
May 22nd is Pole Day at the speedway, where 24 of the 33 spots will be filled. This will make for a very interesting Bump day on May 23rd.
This year's race will feature four former race winners, four former Pole winners, and four women for the first time ever. There will also be six rookies looking to make the race for the first time.
While the next race on the schedule is the Kansas race next weekend, most fans (especially here in Indy) are already looking forward to the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.
For now, the Speedway will sit in quiet and in the darkness (see picture) and rest for another couple of weeks, before every eye will be focused on them for the next month.
I can not wait...