5 Bold Predictions For The Indy 500
Predictions For the Indianapolis 500
This Sunday’s 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 should be nothing less than exciting. The past two years the greatest spectacle in racing saw two of the greatest finishes in the 101-years of history of the track when rookie JR Hildebrand hit the wall out of turn four while in the lead on the last lap in 2011, giving the late Dan Wheldon his second 500 win. And last year, three-time winner Dario Franchitti held off Takuma Sato’s last gasp effort to pass on the last lap. Sato would spin out and Franchitti would go on to take the checkered flag.
The field is as diverse as ever. Four female drivers, four former winners and four rookies will start on Sunday. The field pits drivers from 13 different nationalities, while 10 American drivers will go toe-to-toe as they try to be the first American winner since 2006 when Sam Hornish Jr. won the 90th running of the Indy 500.
For the first time since 1992, there will be two three-time winners in the 500 going for their fourth Indy 500 win. Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti will both try to join auto racing's most exclusive group as they go for their fourth win.
Tomorrow’s 500 will be one you don’t want to miss as Indianapolis’ own owner-driver Ed Carpenter leads the field of 33 to the green flag from the pole position. Of course, there is more than one reason you don’t want to miss it, and as always, there are multiple things you should watch for Sunday, so here are five bold predictions for tomorrow’s Indianapolis 500.
AJ Allmendinger Will Win The Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
AJ Allmendinger will be the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. He has been fast all month and topped that off with a fifth best four lap average during qualifications at 228.099. He will take the green flag in the middle of row two. The former CHAMP car driver is familiar with open wheel racing and he is in a Penske Racing car. Look for Allmendinger to make some noise on Sunday.
Andretti Autosport Will Have Three Cars Finish In The Top Five
Andretti Autosport has five cars in the first three rows with two on the front row. This team has been fast all month long. By the time the race comes to an end on Sunday, Andretti will have three cars in the top five. Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, EJ Viso and rookie Carlos Munoz are on watch this Sunday as they should be some of the fastest cars all day while running up front.
There Will Be A Last Lap Pass For The Win
With 2011 and 2012 behind us as two of the most exciting finishes in Indy 500 history, I’m going to make a bold guarantee that tomorrow’s 97th running will hold just as much excitement. With the newly designed IZOD Indy Car that debuted last year, there has been an abundance of passing. There are fast drivers, but none that can pull away and stretch the lead by more than one second. This race will come down to the final laps where we are sure to see some exciting passing as the front runners go for it all.
Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves Will Not Win Their 4th Indianapolis 500
While it’s always possible with Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves, it is unlikely that either win tomorrow. There is plenty to suggest that either driver could pull off their fourth Indy 500 win, but there is simply too much talent in this field of 33. It’s hard to rule out two of the best drivers, but it’s even harder to rule out the rest of the field in a race that should see a lot of competitive passing.
There Will Be A First Time Winner
With veterans like Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Carpenter and Will Power in the field of 33, there is a very good chance we will see someone drinking the milk in winner’s circle for the first time. There is too much talent and speed among veterans who have yet to win that will set up one of the best finishes ever, resulting in a first time winner.