The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is back for its 102nd Running of the 33 drivers in this years field, 32 are men, 1 is a woman, they hail from 10 different countries, 6 are former winners with a combined 8 wins, and four rookies will make their Indy debuts. Let’s Preview the field that will look to make the famous left hand turn into the winner’s circle and drink the world famous milk.
1: Ed Carpenter: (Best Finish 5th 2008) Carpenter will make his third start from the pole at Indianapolis after doing so in 2013 & 14. While in contention and with the best car in the field in 2014 a late crash cost the Indianapolis native his chances. He’s been coming here his whole life and the crowd will be behind him and he looks to get his first win.
2: Simon Pagenuad: (Best Finish 8th 2013) The 2016 series Champion from France has not had much luck at Indy despite the might of Team Penske. He’s never really contended at Indy despite being a year in year out contender in the Series. He’d love to be the one who gives his owner Roger Penske an unbelievable 16th win in the 500.
3: Will Power: (Best Finish 2nd 2015) The runner-up to Juan Pablo Montoya in 2015. This will be his 12th attempt at the 500 and people are already wondering if the man from down under will ever win it he also has the chance to give Penske that 16th win.
4: Joesf Newgarden: (Best Finish 3rd 2016) The defending series Champion also with Penske power. Perhaps nobody loves to race and have a good time more than this man from Tennessee. It will be his 7th start at the 500 and he’d love to have his face put on the Borg-Warner Trophy.
5: Sebastien Bourdais: (Best Finish 7th 2014) The 39-year-old from France makes his return to Indianapolis one year after a devasting practice crash that led to numerous injuries, and cost him most of his season. He is back and looks for redemption under Dale Coyne Racing colors.
6: Spencer Pigot: (Best Finish 18th 2017) Pigot will drive under the colors of the Pole Sitter Carpenter. This will be his third attempt at the 500.
7: Danica Patrick: (Best Finish 3rd 2009) After seven years away Patrick is back at Indy to finish her racing career. After a career that made her the most successful female driver in NASCAR History. Last fall she announced she’d end her Auto Racing career at the Indy 500 she is back under GoDaddy’s colors and Ed Carpenters team and look to end her career in victory lane.
8: Helio Castroneves: (Best Finish 1st 2001, 2002, 2009) The 43-year-old from Sau Paulo, Brazil no longer races full time in the IndyCar Series. However, he is back for the 500 back in Roger Penske team colors. He has finish 2nd twice since his last victory nine years ago. He looks to join AJ Foyt, Al Unser Sr and Rick Mears in the four-time winners club.
9: Scott Dixon: (Best Finish 1st 2008) 10 years after his victory the 37-year-old from New Zeland is still under Chip Ganassi’s colors. He’d love to get Ganassi one step closer to his great rival Penske on the wins list.
10: Tony Kannan: (Best Finish 1st 2014) It’s hard to believe the 43-year-old from Brazil will make his 17th start at Indy, he finally got that breakthrough win four years ago after years of bad luck. He knows his time at Indy is running out and he’s love to add at least one more win.
11: Matheus Leist: (Rookie) The 19-year-old from Brazil is the first rookie we encounter he’d love to be the 2nd rookie in 3 years to win. He’d love to join his fellow countrymen Kannan, Castroneves and Emerson Fittipaldi on the Borg-Warner Trophy.
12: Marco Andretti: (Best Finish 2nd 2006) It’s stunning that Marco will be making his 13th start in the 500-mile race. His last name has a tortured and cursed history at Indianapolis with his grandfather Mario, father Michael, uncle Jeff, cousin John and Marco himself have made 70 starts at the Indianapolis 500 one has been in the race every year since 1965 and Mario’s lone victory in 1969 is the families lone win on the track.
13: Zachary Claman DeMelo: (Rookie) This 20-year-old from Montreal looks to do something that his fellow French Canadian Jacques Villeneuve did in 1995 and win the Indianapolis 500 in his first try.
14: Ryan Hunter-Reay: (Best Finish 1st 2014) The 2014 Champion stole victory from Castroneves in an epic duel four years ago. With the might of Andretti Autosport powering him he looks to have a great chance.
15: Charlie Kimball: (Best Finish 3rd 2015) Kimball makes 8th start at Indianapolis this man from California drives with Type One Diabetes this is his first time at Indy without Ganassi power and look for his breakthrough win.
16: Takuma Sato: (Best Finish 1st 2017) The defending Indy 500 Champion outlasted Castroneves in an incredible battle in the final laps a year ago. It was redemption for the 41-year-old from Tokyo who crashed while trying to pass Dario Franchitti on the final lap in 2012.
17: Kyle Kaiser: (Rookie): Kaiser will run the final race of his contract of Junos Racing Kaiser would love to finish it in victory lane chugging the milk.
18: Robert Wickens: (Rookie) Another Canadian rookie who would love to follow in Villeneuve’s footsteps.
19: James Davison: (Best Finish 16th 2014) Davison is back at Indianapolis after a brief NASCAR career he’s yet to get a top 15 he’d love to be the first Australian winner.
20: Max Chilton: (Best Finish 4th 2017) Chilton led the most laps of the race a year ago however, he was overwhelmed in the final laps. Chilton would love to join Dario Franchitti, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and so many more as British Indy 500 winners.
21: Carlos Munoz: (Best Finish 2nd 2013, 2016) This 26-year old from Columbia started 2nd and finished 2nd in his first attempt at the 500 five years ago, and he probably would have won if it weren’t for a late caution that ended the race, and if this was the Indianapolis 500 & 2.5 he would have won in 2016, he was chasing down Alexander Rossi fast but ran out of time. He’d love to join Montoya on the list of Columbian winners.
22: Gabby Chaves: (Best Finish 9th 2017) Another Columbian makes his 4th run for the milk he drives for Harding Racing.
23: Stefan Wilson: (Best Finish 28th 2016) Wilson never had a chance in his first and only attempt two years ago. He’s back and hopes to redeem himself this time around.
24: Sage Karam: (Best Finish 9th 2014) Karam was only 19 when he got that top ten finish four years ago, he’s from the same hometown as the Andretti family Nazareth PA. He drives for Dreyer Reinbold Racing and hopes to finally bring them their first 500 win.
25: Zach Veach: (Best Finish 26th 2016) Veach drove for the great AJ Foyt in his lone start in this race two years ago. He’s back this time with the might of Andretti Autosport and looks to have a good shot at the win.
26: Oriol Servia: (Best Finish 4th 2012) Servia will make his 10th start in the great race the 4th place finish is one of his only two top ten’s in the race.
27: J.R. Hildebrand: (Best Finish 2nd 2011) One of the most heartbreaking stories in Indy 500 history. Leading the race coming out of turn 4 on the final lap. Hilderbrand tried to get his way around a lapped car got into the marbles lost control and smashed into the wall, allowing the late great Dan Wheldon to pass him for his 2nd victory. Seven years later Hildebrand is back and looks for redemption.
28: Jay Howard: (Best Finish 30th 2011) Howard has had horrible luck in his two prior starts in the race to wrecks left him with two DNF’s. Howard will start higher then he has ever finished and looks to break his bad luck.
29th: Ed Jones: (Best Finish 3rd 2017) Jones got a top three finish behind the incredible duel between Sato and Castroneves a year ago in his first try. He’s the only driver from the United Arab Emirates to start the 500 and would love to improve on that 3rd place finish this.
30th: Graham Rahal: (Best Finish 3rd 2011) The son of the 1986 champion Bobby Rahal will make his 11th start in this great race he’s got two top-five finishes in the race. He’d love to make him and his father the first father son duo to win.
31st: Jack Harvey: (Best Finish 31st 2017) Harvey made his debut in the great race last year early problems took him out quickly. He starts in the same spot he finished in last year.
32nd: Alexander Rossi: (Best Finish 1st 2016) Two years ago driving for former driver Bryan Herta, Rossi played a great fuel mileage game and got to the checkard flag first to win the 100th running of the great race which was first first attempt. Now under the colors of Andretti Autosport who has merged with Herta’s team he look to make it two wins in three years.
33rd: Conor Daly: (Best Finish 22nd 2013) Driving for the great AJ Foyt five years ago he got his best finish. This year under Dale Coyne’s colors he looks to become the first driver to win the race from the 33rd starting spot.
This field of 32 men and 1 woman, six winners with a combined eight victories, and four rookies make the the field that will answer the call of the 102nd Indianapolis 500 mile race and only one will be etched into imortallity.