5 IndyCar Drivers Ready to Surprise at The Indianapolis 500

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Five IndyCar Drivers Ready to Surprise at The Indianapolis 500

Five IndyCar Drivers Ready to Surprise at The Indianapolis 500
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The month of May marks the return of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, The Indianapolis 500. The new aerodynamics package has made for blistering speeds, and created passing that can be completed with ease. IndyCar has listened to its fans and delivered a package that has leveled the playing field and created the ability for anyone, from any starting position, to end up drinking the milk and kissing the bricks Sunday evening after all the sparks have flown, and 500 miles around the grueling circuit have been completed.

The Indianapolis 500 has an uncanny ability to not only solidify the sport's greats, but create new legends and finishes which rank amongst the best in the history of motor sports: the 2006 duel between rookie Marco Andretti and Sam Hornish Jr., the 2012 fight between Takuma Sato and Dario Franchitti, etc.

Each battle is unique, riveting, and often features unknown drivers prepared to shine on the sport’s greatest stage. As made clear by Andretti and 2011 second-place finisher J.R Hildebrand, it is not always the victor who gets all the attention. The determination, grit, and effort displayed by all 33 teams is evident and respected as the race garners national media attention and a crowd of over 200,000 passionate fans.

This year features a unique set of drivers ready to share the spotlight with the sport’s greats and possibly create yet another legendary race. Here are the five drivers in this year’s field most likely to surprise with a great run.

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No. 5: Conor Daly

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The Noblesville, Indiana native has had a difficult month of May after incredible expectation was placed upon him. The young Daly, son of former Formula 1 and CART driver Derek Daly, has had success in Europe, but is still an Indianapolis 500 rookie. After a wreck in practice and a blown engine in qualifying, Daly enters The 500 as a relative unknown, but has the talent and natural speed to come from the back of the field.

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No. 4: Charlie Kimball

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Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Charlie Kimball is a driver ready to break out. Performing the best he has this year, Kimball will be starting mid-pack. Kimball has finished 13th and eighth in his two previous starts, but seems ready for a performance akin to those of J.R Hildebrand two years ago and Takuma Sato last year.

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No. 3: Takuma Sato

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Last year, Takuma Sato nearly came away with a legendary Indianapolis 500 victory. Instead, he ended up in the fence, Taku has become a better driver, and should be in position to once again contend for a victory. Look forward to him learning from last year and possibly end up in victory lane hoisting The Borg-Warner trophy.

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No. 2: Justin Wilson

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Dale Coyne Racing has consistently improved over the years, especially with their oval program. Perhaps this is their year. Justin Wilson has been fast all month, and looks to cement himself as a legitimate threat on ovals. Wilson will roll off 14th, and should be able to head straight to the front.

6 of 6

No. 1: Carlos Munoz

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Andretti Autosport has come out insanely fast this month. Rookie Carlos Munoz has been arguably the fastest of all the Andretti drivers though. Munoz is the first Columbian to start on an Indianapolis 500 front row since countryman Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000. Montoya started that race as a rookie and ended it in victory lane. Munoz may be able to do the same thing.

1 of 6

Five IndyCar Drivers Ready to Surprise at The Indianapolis 500

Five IndyCar Drivers Ready to Surprise at The Indianapolis 500
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The month of May marks the return of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, The Indianapolis 500. The new aerodynamics package has made for blistering speeds, and created passing that can be completed with ease. IndyCar has listened to its fans and delivered a package that has leveled the playing field and created the ability for anyone, from any starting position, to end up drinking the milk and kissing the bricks Sunday evening after all the sparks have flown, and 500 miles around the grueling circuit have been completed.

The Indianapolis 500 has an uncanny ability to not only solidify the sport's greats, but create new legends and finishes which rank amongst the best in the history of motor sports: the 2006 duel between rookie Marco Andretti and Sam Hornish Jr., the 2012 fight between Takuma Sato and Dario Franchitti, etc.

Each battle is unique, riveting, and often features unknown drivers prepared to shine on the sport’s greatest stage. As made clear by Andretti and 2011 second-place finisher J.R Hildebrand, it is not always the victor who gets all the attention. The determination, grit, and effort displayed by all 33 teams is evident and respected as the race garners national media attention and a crowd of over 200,000 passionate fans.

This year features a unique set of drivers ready to share the spotlight with the sport’s greats and possibly create yet another legendary race. Here are the five drivers in this year’s field most likely to surprise with a great run.

2 of 6

No. 5: Conor Daly

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The Noblesville, Indiana native has had a difficult month of May after incredible expectation was placed upon him. The young Daly, son of former Formula 1 and CART driver Derek Daly, has had success in Europe, but is still an Indianapolis 500 rookie. After a wreck in practice and a blown engine in qualifying, Daly enters The 500 as a relative unknown, but has the talent and natural speed to come from the back of the field.

3 of 6

No. 4: Charlie Kimball

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Charlie Kimball is a driver ready to break out. Performing the best he has this year, Kimball will be starting mid-pack. Kimball has finished 13th and eighth in his two previous starts, but seems ready for a performance akin to those of J.R Hildebrand two years ago and Takuma Sato last year.

4 of 6

No. 3: Takuma Sato

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Last year, Takuma Sato nearly came away with a legendary Indianapolis 500 victory. Instead, he ended up in the fence, Taku has become a better driver, and should be in position to once again contend for a victory. Look forward to him learning from last year and possibly end up in victory lane hoisting The Borg-Warner trophy.

5 of 6

No. 2: Justin Wilson

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Dale Coyne Racing has consistently improved over the years, especially with their oval program. Perhaps this is their year. Justin Wilson has been fast all month, and looks to cement himself as a legitimate threat on ovals. Wilson will roll off 14th, and should be able to head straight to the front.

6 of 6

No. 1: Carlos Munoz

K
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Andretti Autosport has come out insanely fast this month. Rookie Carlos Munoz has been arguably the fastest of all the Andretti drivers though. Munoz is the first Columbian to start on an Indianapolis 500 front row since countryman Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000. Montoya started that race as a rookie and ended it in victory lane. Munoz may be able to do the same thing.


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