Indianapolis 500 Preview

Itr is almost time at last. One of the most antiucipated 500s in a while is a little more than 48 hours away. On a personal level, this will be my 56th 500 in person. The other day I realized that I first listened to the 500 on the radio 70 years ago. Here is a very old man’s preview of the 107th running.

There are son many storylines here. Tony Kanaan’s final race, the Rahal situation, Abel Motorsports, and most likely a two team battle for the win.

Kanaan’s Last Lap

Tony Kanaan has been a fan favorite since his rookie year. He led lasp in each of his first seven races. His passing on restarts is legendary. His win in 2013 was one of the most popular victories at the Speedway. Kanaan starts ninth and is with a team that can win. I’m not sure he will, but look for a top 10 finish.


Is A J Foyt Racing back? Santino Ferrucci starts fourth and rookie Benjamin Poedersen rolls off 11th in the best starting spots for the team in a decade. How thye race is another question. Ferrucci has a strong career record at IMS, and if the team execurtes in the pits, he could be in the mix all day.

Abel Motorsports

When this entry was announced with R C Enerson, it was written off as the caqr to be bumped. They missed the open tes, and Enerson had to complete his rookie test on the opening day of practice. Yet Enerson safely qualified 28th. A top 20 finish will be a big wn for the team, which has full time aspirations.

The Rahal Dilemma

Rahal Lanigan Letterman Racing suffered through a May malady that at one time or another has affected every team. No speed, no answers led to a frustrating week of practice and a near last row lockout.Graham Rahal. bumped from the field, will race on Sunday in the Dreyer anhd Reinbold car in place of the injured Stefan Wilson. Katherine Legge, the only team car to qualify safely, is another car to watch. Rahal will advance. it what he does. How far forward he can advance will depend on how the race unfolds.

Andretti Factor

Andretti Autosport cars seem to have lost the competitve edge they had showed through the first four races.Kyle Kirkwood is thier best qualifier at 15th. Kirkwood is happy with his car for the race. Romain nGrosjean and Colton Herta have a lot of work to do from their start in row 7.

Kirkwood could possibly get in position to bother the contenders and may end upm in the top 10. I think he is a year away from being a serious threat for the win.

McLaren vs. Ganassi

I see the race coming down to a battle between Alex Palou and Scott Dixon for Ganassi and Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist for Arrow McLaren. Both Honda and Chevy have shown very strong this month, but I tink Chevy has a bit of an edge. Palou will lead a lot of laps early, and O’Ward will get into contention by mid race.

Several drivers yesterday believe the weather will detrmine how much passing there will be. The forecast calls for 79 degrees and cloudy. That sounds perfect to me. Expect close racing, and hope that the forecast holds.

The drivers expect closer racing if not more passing.

In the end, I’m sticking with my preseason piuck of Pato O’Ward to win. He has been knocking on the door all season, and it his time.


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