106th Indy 500 Lineup

Image: Creative Commons, John Skodak

106th Indy 500 Lineup

The 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is tomorrow. It is a race filled with pageantry and is truly the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. It’s time for the engines to rev as 33 drivers race 200 laps for one glorious bottle of cold milk and a chance at making history. Here’s the Indy 500 lineup.

A familiar face has the pole position.  Six-time Indy Car Champion Scott Dixon will be looking for his 2nd career Indy 500 victory.  Dixon has had the pole position in four previous years – 2008, 2015, 2017 and 2021 – with his only victory coming in the 2008 race. Rick Mears holds the record with six poles.

Dixon says that getting the pole is huge for confidence and while it doesn’t guarantee you anything once the race begins on Sunday, it doesn’t hurt either. The winner from qualifying was Chip Ganassi Racing. Dixon and teammate Alex Palou are holding down the front row. On top of that, the team’s five cars are all in the Top 12 starting positions. It signals that they will be the team to beat this year.

Dixon joked with reporters that he wishes his teammates, who all want to win the Indy 500 just as badly, would just be there to back him up but he knows everyone will be competitive and trying to pass on lap number one.

There are tons of drivers with legitimate shots at winning with a stacked field. According to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this is the fastest starting field in Indianapolis 500 history, with an average speed of 231.023 mph. The previous fastest starting field came in 2021, with an average speed of 230.294.

That means fans should buckle in for an exciting and fast race. As the cars and the engines used inside of them continue to get better, there is no telling who will win from the jump. What we do know is that they will all race in front of a full crowd for the first time since 2019 due to COVID.

When it comes to the betting favorites for this race, Scott Dixon leads the charge in Vegas at +550. He has been in this spot before and after his impressive qualifying race, there is no reason to think he can’t cross the finish line first.  Palau is not far behind as the second-betting favorite and why not? Just a spot behind Dixon, the 25-year-old is eager to grab the elusive win and knock Dixon off the stage for Ganassi Racing.

Of course, we would be remiss to discount the 2021 winner Helio Castroneves.  The Brazilian legend won his fourth Indy 500 last year which ties him with A.J. Foyt, Bobby Unser and Rick Mears for the most Indy 500 wins of all-time.

A notable entry here is Jimmie Johnson who is tied for the eighth-best odds. Johnson is a seven-time NASCAR Series Cup Champion and is trying to prove his worth in IndyCar. This will be his first time competing in this legendary race and hey, maybe there will be some beginner’s luck that accompanies him.

With a stacked Indy 500 lineup we should be in for an exciting day at the Brickyard.  My pick is Dixon, who has more experience than anyone in the field and could potentially ride into the sunset with his 2nd Indy 500 victory.