2023 Indy 500 Preview

Image: Creative Commons, John Skodak

2023 Indy 500 Preview

The 107th Indy 500 will be run on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and there is already lots of excitement around the race given a historic and record-breaking pole run. Alex Palou raced the 4-lap qualifier in 234.217 MPH which is now the fastest in IndyCar history as he qualified for pole position one in Sunday’s race.

“It means the world to me now,” Palou said. “It was really tight, but the 10-car crew did an amazing job. Super proud of the work they did all month, all year to get to this point. We knew we had to go aggressive, to trim the car a lot to get a good first lap and try to be consistent. The fourth lap was really tough to keep it flat, but we did it. I knew it was one chance only.”

The entire field was fast in these qualifiers, going 232.184 MPH as they toppled last year’s top speed (which held the record) at 231.023.

Starting in second position will be Rinus VeeKay who raced it in 234.211, just a few ticks off of Palou as he came barreling past the finish line as well. It marks the second closest speed gap in qualifying history by the top two qualifiers in Indy 500 history.

Here’s the starting grid for the 107th Indianapolis 500:

  1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing
  2. Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing
  3. Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP
  4. Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  5. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP
  6. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
  7. Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren SP
  8. Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi Racing
  9. Tony Kanaan, Arrow McLaren SP
  10. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing
  11. Benjamin Pedersen, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  12. Will Power, Team Penske
  13. Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing
  14. Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske
  15. Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport
  16. Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing
  17. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
  18. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dreyer & Reinbold
  19. Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport
  20. Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing
  21. Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport
  22. Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing
  23. David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing
  24. Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/Curb-Agajanian
  25. Stefan Wilson, Dreyer & Reinbold
  26. Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Steinbrenner
  27. Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing
  28. Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing
  29. RC Enerson, Abel Motorsports
  30. Katherine Legge, Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan
  31. Christian Lundgaard, Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan
  32. Sting Ray Robb, Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR
  33. Jack Harvey, Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan

With that, let’s break down a few of the top favorites and throw in a longshot that you should watch this weekend.

Alex Palou – Now starting in the P1 position and coming off his record-breaking time, he is the obvious favorite in this race and will receive a whole lot of backing from fans. Palou is just 26 and will now compete in his fourth Indy 500. He finished second two years ago, which was an impressive feat coming all the way from the sixth starting position. Last year was more disappointing as he finished 9th after having the P2 position to begin the race. If his qualifier is any indication of what we are going to see on Sunday, you should be excited.

Rinus VeeKay – We have had a blast watching the 22-year-old race himself to the top of the sport, but the Indy 500 hasn’t treated him kindly and there are certainly concerns from past attempts at this track. VeeKay has started 4th, 3rd, and 3rd yet has never finished near the top. His best finish is 8th place but has two finishes of 20 and 33. All eyes will be on the Ed Carpenter racer as he looks to cement himself in history this time around from the P2 starting position.

Alexander Rossi – He is in the P7 spot but there is no counting Rossi out who won the fabled race back in 2016 and currently has the third-best odds to take home a victory this weekend. When you look at the final leaderboard, it always seems like Rossi is in the mix to win the Indy 500.