2024 Indy 500 Preview

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2024 Indy 500 Preview

The  2024 Indy 500 is Sunday, May 26th. It will be the 108th race in history and there are lots of great storylines to discuss and an incredible feat that will be attempted which makes this a very exciting race weekend for both IndyCar and NASCAR.

First and foremost, let’s review the field which has eight former winners in cars this weekend. The first big question is whether we will have a repeat winner? It hasn’t been done since 2002, but Josef Newgarden is the defending champion and will try to become the first back-to-back winner since Helio Castroneves.

Newgarden has had an average start to his season. The closest he has come to victory was a fourth-place finish at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Outside of that, he has placed 16th or worse in three of his other four races. There is a reason that we don’t often see repeat winners in Indy and I think it would be a very tall task and a big ask to have Newgarden taking home another checkered flag.

By the way, Helio Castroneves will be racing this weekend as he looks for his fifth win in the race. He is currently tied with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears for the most wins in Indy 500 history. If he can pull it off, he will be the greatest to ever race at the track. Castroneves is 49 years old and still racing like a mad man.

There are a ton of impressive Indy500 rookies in this race and they have all been impressive in their own right. Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist, Kyle Larson, Linus Lundqvist, Christian Rasmussen, and Kyffin Simpson will all participate in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing for the very first time. We’ll get to Larson in a moment but one name that really intrigues me from this list is Armstrong.

The 23-year-old has had two top five finishes thus far this season and has shown he has the chops to be a great racer. Armstrong is an established Formula 2 winner and was the 2023 IndyCar Rookie of the Year.

Now to Larson. He will be the fifth driver to attempt “The Double”.’ What that means is that he will be competing in the Indy 500 and the 600-mile Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day. Yes, that is 1,100 miles of racing in one single day, and it is very hard to accomplish. The last to do so was Kurt Busch in 2014. The best to ever do it was Tony Stewart who accomplished the feat twice. In 2001, he finished sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte.

So, who is going to win the Indy500? If you are a betting man, Vegas has these latest odds:

  • Scott McLaughlin +460
  • Josef Newgarden +500
  • Kyle Larson +650
  • Will Power +650
  • Pato O’Ward +900
  • Alexander Rossi +1000

My pick is Will Power. He has raced in four events this year and has placed second in three of them. I say he has the willpower to pull off a victory in Indy.