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101st Indianapolis 500 Preview

Just one more day to go until the 101st Indianapolis 500. Yes the biggest day in racing is coming. The Monaco Grand Prix, the Coca Cola 600 for nascar and the biggest race of the whole year, the Indianapolis 500. Of course I’m more interested in Indy over the other two. Monaco doesn’t have much racing and I don’t really need to say about nascar races lately (especially the timing is not good for me) and Indy for the last five years have always had great races.

 

Here’s how everyone is starting and a bit of fun stats if anyone is interested.

 

101st Indianapolis 500 Starting Grid

 

P1 – Scott Dixon – Chip Ganassi Racing – New Zealand

indycar-indy-500-2017-scott-dixon-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 14 (2003-2016)
Wins: 1 (’08)
Podiums: 3 (’07, ’08, ’12)
Top 5 Finishes: 6
Top 10 Finishes: 10
Poles: 3 (’08, ’15, ’17)
Fastest Laps: 1 (’06)
Laps Led: 434
Finishing Rate: 78.57%

Best Result: 1st – 2008

  • Four-time IndyCar Champion (2003, 2008, 2013, 2015)
  • 92nd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 39 wins in IndyCar
  • 2006 and 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 2000 IndyLights Champion

 

P2 – Ed Carpenter – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-carpenter-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 13 (2004-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 2 (’13, ’14)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 69
Finishing Rate: 61.54%

Best Result: 5th – 2008

  • 3 wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Freedom 100 Winner

 

P3 – Alexander Rossi – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-alexander-rossi-herta-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 1 (’16)
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’16)
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 1st – 2016

  • 100th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2008 Formula BMW World Final Champion
  • 5 races in Formula One with Manor in 2015

 

P4 – Takuma Sato – Andretti Autosport – Japan

indycar-indy-500-2017-takuma-sato-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 7 (2010-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 31
Finishing Rate: 57.14%

Best Result: 13th – 2013 and 2015

  • Podium finisher in the 2004 United States GP at Indianapolis
  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2001 Macau GP Winner
  • 2001 British F3 Champion

 

P5 – Fernando Alonso – Andretti Autosport – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-fernando-alonso-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2005 and 2006 Formula One World Champion
  • 2006 and 2007 Monaco GP winner
  • 32 wins in F1
  • 2017 Indianapolis 500 Fastest Rookie Qualifier
  • 1999 Euro Open by Nissan Champion

 

P6 – JR Hildebrand – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-j-r-hildebrand-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 11
Finishing Rate: 83.33%

Best Result: 2nd – 2011

  • 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2009 IndyLights Champion

 

P7 – Tony Kanaan – Chip Ganassi Racing – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-tony-kanaan-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 15 (2002-2016)
Wins: 1 (’13)
Podiums: 4 (’03, ’04, ’12, ’13)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 8
Poles: 1 (’05)
Fastest Laps: 3 (’03, ’05, ’07)
Laps Led: 305
Finishing Rate: 73.33%

Best Result: 1st – 2013

  • 2004 IndyCar Champion
  • 97th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 16 wins in IndyCar
  • 1997 IndyLights Champion

 

P8 – Marco Andretti – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-marco-andretti-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 11 (2006-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 4 (’06, ’08, ’10, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 7
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 2 (’08, ’12)
Laps Led: 141
Finishing Rate: 72.72%

Best Result: 2nd – 2006

  • 2006 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2 wins in IndyCar

 

P9 – Will Power – Team Penske – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-will-power-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 5
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’10)
Laps Led: 74
Finishing Rate: 88.89%

Best Result: 2nd – 2015

  • 2014 IndyCar Champion
  • 28 wins in IndyCar

 

P10 – Ryan Hunter-Reay – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ryan-hunter-reay-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 1 (’14)
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 134
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 1st – 2014

  • 98th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2012 IndyCar Champion
  • 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 14 race wins in IndyCar

 

P11 – Ed Jones – Dale Coyne Racing – United Arab Emirates

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-jones-dale-coyne-racing-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2016 IndyLights Champion
  • 2013 European F3 Open Champion

 

P12 – Oriol Servia – Rahal Letterman Racing – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-oriol-servia-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda

Starts: 8 (2008-2009, 2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 4th – 2012

  • 1 win in ChampCar
  • 1999 IndyLights Champion

 

P13 – Mikhail Aleshin – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Russia

indycar-indy-500-2017-mikhail-aleshin-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 1
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 21st – 2014

  • 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion
  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P14 – Graham Rahal – Rahal Letterman Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-graham-rahal-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 6
Finishing Rate: 55.56%

Best Result: 3rd – 2011

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 24 Hours of Daytona Winner

 

P15 – Max Chilton – Chip Ganassi Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-max-chilton-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 15th – 2016

  • 35 starts in Formula One

 

P16 – Charlie Kimball – Chip Ganassi Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-charlie-kimball-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’15)
Laps Led: 13
Finishing Rate: 83.33% (How ironic for car #83)

Best Result: 3rd – 2015

  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2013 24 Hour of Daytona Winner

 

P17 – James Hinchcliffe – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Canada

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-hinchcliffe-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda

Starts: 5 (2011-2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 1 (’16)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 53
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 6th – 2012

  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter

 

P18 – Juan Pablo Montoya – Team Penske – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-juan-pablo-montoya-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2000, 2014-2016)
Wins: 2 (’00, ’15)
Podiums: 2
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’14)
Laps Led: 192
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 1st – 2000 and 2015

  • 84th and 99th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2007, 2008 and 2013 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Monaco Grand Prix Winner
  • 7 race wins in Formula One
  • 2 race wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup
  • 1999 ChampCar Champion
  • 1998 International F3000 Champion
  • 2017 Race of Champions Winner

 

P19 – Helio Castroneves – Team Penske – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-helio-castroneves-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 16 (2001-16)
Wins: 3 (’01, ’02, ’09)
Podiums: 6 (’01, ’02, ’03, ’07, ’09, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 13
Poles: 4 (’03, ’07, ’09, ’10)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 296
Finishing Rate: 93.75%

Best Result: 1st – 2001, 2002 and 2009

  • 85th, 86th and 93rd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2001 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 23 wins in IndyCar

 

P20 – Jay Howard – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jay-howard-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2011)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0%

Best Result: 30th in 2011

  • 2006 IndyLights Champion

 

P21 – Sage Karam – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-sage-karam-dreyer-reinbold-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2014-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 2
Finishing Rate: 33.33%

Best Result: 9th – 2014

  • 2013 IndyLights Champion
  • 2010 US F2000 National Champion

 

P22 – Josef Newgarden – Team Penske – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-josef-newgarden-team-penske-chevrolet

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 3rd – 2016

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2011 IndyLights Champion

 

P23 – Simon Pagenaud – Team Penske – France

indycar-indy-500-2017-simon-pagenaud-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 35
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 8th – 2013

  • 2016 IndyCar Champion
  • 10 wins in IndyCar
  • 2010 American Le Mans LMP1 Champion
  • 2006 ChampCar Atlantic Champion

 

P24 – Carlos Munoz – AJ Foyt Enterprises – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-carlos-munoz-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2013-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 25
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 2nd – 2013 and 2016

  • 2013 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 1 race win in IndyCar

 

P25 – Gabby Chaves – Harding Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-gabby-chaves-harding-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 2 (2015-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 16th – 2015

  • 2015 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2014 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2014 IndyLights Champion
  • 2009 Formula BMW Americas Champion

 

P26 – Conor Daly – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-conor-daly-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2013, 2015-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 22nd – 2013

  • 2012-13 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Champion
  • 2010 Star Mazda Champion

 

P27 – Jack Harvey – Michael Shank Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jack-harvey-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2015 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2012 British F3 Champion

 

P28 – Pippa Mann – Dale Coyne Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-pippa-mann-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 5 (2011, 2013-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 80%

Best Result: 18th – 2016

  • 1 race win in IndyLights

 

P29 – Spencer Pigot – Juncos Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-spencer-pigot-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 25th – 2016

  • 2015 IndyLights Champion
  • 2014 Pro Mazda Champion

 

P30 – Buddy Lazier – Lazier Partners Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-buddy-lazier

Starts: 19 (1991-92, 1995-2008, 2013-14, 2016)
Wins: 1 (1996)
Podiums: 3 (’96, ’98, ’00)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 6
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’00)
Laps Led: 70
Finishing Rate: 52.63%

Best Result: 1st – 1996

  • 80th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 IndyCar Champion

 

P31 – Sebastian Saavedra – Juncos Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-sebastian-saavedra-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2010, 2012-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 20%

Best Result: 15th – 2014

  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P32 – Zach Veach – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-zach-veach-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: –

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 6 wins in IndyLights

 

P33 – James Davison – Dale Coyne Racing – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-davison-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 50%

Best Result: 16th – 2014

  • 2 wins in IndyLights

 

I have to say Scott Dixon is the heavy favourite going into this race. It’s bad enough for everyone he’s always gone well around here (400+ laps led here in all of his starts), he will start on pole position and expect him to add to his laps led count and stay near the front the whole way. I do expect Rossi to give him a challenge, he’s been impressive yet again and he has a real possibility of making it two Indy 500 wins in two starts.

 

Alonso does have a chance to score a big result. The last guy to jump from another series into the Indy 500 was Kurt Busch and he did well with Andretti too, finishing 6th so if I was Alonso, my aim apart from winning would be to get at least a top 5 finish. Do look out for his Andretti team-mates Hunter-Reay, Andretti and Sato, they should be fast…if their reliability holds on.

 

It’s a huge surprise to see only one Team Penske car in the top 10, usually there’s three or all of them up there. They won’t be at the back for long, I am very sure of it. Especially with the caliber of talent they have in all five cars, don’t be surprised to see one of them up there challenging for the win. It should be a good race as it has been for the last 5 years. I can’t wait for the biggest race in all of motorsports. Bring on the 101st Indianapolis 500! Start your engines!

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Alonso to race at Indy 500! It’s really happening!

So big news coming out of Indianapolis…or Texas…or Bahrain, wherever it may have been from but two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to race the 101st Indianapolis 500! Oh wow talk about huge news, this is massive news for IndyCar, the Indy 500, us Indy fans and well motorsports fans in general I suppose.

 

And the first thing to pop out of my mind when I heard about this….”Did Fernando remember my question to him all these years?”. Yeah so I did ask him about racing at the Indy 500 a few years ago and he actually replied back on Twitter which then became a big story on IndyCar, ESPN and whatever it may be. Check it out here -> https://kashwinner.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/the-time-i-asked-alonso-about-the-indy-500-on-twitter/

 

Alo 2

 

It’s really happening! I mean I don’t blame him, clearly McLaren’s latest F1 challenger is a step down and he’s starting to lose patience so why not try something new? After all, he’s only skipping the Monaco Grand Prix, possibly the worst race of the lot because there is ZERO racing on it (never been a fan of Monaco in all honesty). And he’s going into the BIGGEST race of the entire year where overtakes are aplenty and well anyone can win it. So a good deal there from Mr Alonso. I would have done the same thing in a heartbeat.

 

I’m really excited about the prospect of seeing Fernando Alonso in an IndyCar for the first time, in a super-speedway for the first time and on the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway….not for the first time but for him the first time driving in the opposite direction to when F1 last visited Indianapolis.

 

And he’s got a decent chance of taking his second step to complete the Triple Crown (Monaco GP, Indy 500 and 24 hours of Le Mans). He is racing for Andretti Autosport who have gone well in Indy for the past few years. Let’s not forget, they won the big race last year with a rookie driver coming in from F1 (Alexander Rossi) and Kurt Busch did alright in his attempt with them so clearly Alonso, if all goes well, has a chance to do well there.

 Alonso should do alright. He’s in the right team with maybe the best guys to learn from (Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Sato and Rossi), two guys who have jumped from F1 to IndyCar and all four guys have at one point or another found themselves in a position to win it. 🙂

I thought last year’s 100th Indy 500 was the biggest one ever and now with this news, this might be even bigger! I can’t wait for this month of May to see how Alonso does in an IndyCar. It really is happening! 😀