Co-Written by Braden Wagle and Austin Wodock
With the 103rd Indianapolis 500 set to start today, here are a few thoughts about the race from Indianapolis natives and our resident racing experts, Austin and Braden.
Storyline to Follow
Austin: Conor Daly in a good car. Conor Daly has raced in 5 Indianapolis 500s but has never been in a car capable of winning. The Indiana native has the best career finish of 21st last year, but I expect that to change this year. Daly finally secured a ride with one of the top teams in Indycar, Andretti Autosport. Andretti has won 3 of the last 5 Indianapolis 500s and has had great speed in the race for many years. I like Daly to finally break through and have a great race.
Braden: Chevy vs Honda. Chevy has dominated the 500 for a few years now, and once again has 5 of the top 6 cars. Two of the series best Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi drive Honda though.
First to Crash
Austin: Sage Karam. Sage has always had speed at the 500 but always ends up crashing at some point. From his 31st starting position, I expect him to crash out pretty early.
Braden: Austin took my pick, so I’ll go with a hot take. It won’t be a bad driver, he could even be on the move from the back of the pack when it happens, but Felix Rosenqvist is one of the least experienced oval drivers on a long track starting from behind in a good car that he will be trying to make a lot of moves in.
Sleeper to win
Austin: Ed Carpenter. Yes, he’s starting 2nd but he’s had some terrible luck at IMS. He has had 3 poles in the last 7 years but only finished in the top 5 twice in that span including 3 races where he crashed out. Yes, he’s starting up front but he has never turned the starting position into a win.
Braden: Picking the driver starting 2nd isn’t a real sleeper, but I will give you one: Ryan Hunter Reay. He has a win and two top threes at the Brickyard. He is a long shot but seems to do well at the track. Dixon is not a sleeper but starting in 18th he is by far the most likely car to win outside to fast 9.
Austin: Alexander Rossi. Rossi already has a win at the Indianapolis 500 and has shown to be one of, if not the most aggressive drivers at the track. He started 32nd last year and quickly worked his way into the top 10 with many sensational passes along the outside of the racing groove. Starting 9th this year, I like Rossi to quickly work his way to the front and win his second Indianapolis 500.
Braden: Scott Dixon will come from behind and be in the race, but he will finish 3rd behind Rossi in 2nd and the winner: Ed Carpenter. Austin’s supposedly sleeper will finally break through and win his hometown race.
Be sure to catch the 103rd Indianapolis 500 today at 12 pm eastern on NBC.