At least 36 drivers will attempt to make the field of 33 for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. Qualifying will be a treat this season with three drivers knowing their road to the Indianapolis 500 will come to a close Sunday, May 19, a week before the green flag is slated to drop.
Seven former winners are entered including Helio Castroneves who continues to chase that elusive fourth Indianapolis 500 win. Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2013), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014), Alexander Rossi (2016), Takuma Sato (2017) and Will Power (2018) are all drivers who will look to tie nine drivers on the Indianapolis 500 wins list with two victories.
Fernando Alonso is looking for leg number three of the triple crown as he returns to IndyCar for the first time since his impressive showing in 2017. Should he secure the victory May 26, he will become just the second driver to win the triple crown (Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix). Alonso will be competing behind the wheel of the No. 66 for McLaren Racing with Carlin.
Team Penske won the last time IndyCar took to the track with Simon Pagenaud snapping a 22-race winless streak in the IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The Captain, Roger Penske, has another stout lineup this season with Josef Newgarden and Pagenaud chasing their first, Power his second and Castroneves his record-tying fourth victory in the Indianapolis 500. All four of those drivers will also look to earn Mr. Penske his 18th Borg-Warner Trophy.
Don’t count out the 100th Indianapolis 500 winner Rossi, who has one victory so far this season in Long Beach. His organization, Andretti Autosport, has the most cars entered in the field at five. Conor Daly, Zach Veach and Marco Andretti are all chasing their first victory while both Rossi and Hunter-Reay are in pursuit of victory number two.
10 rookies have gone to victory lane in the Indianapolis 500 including most recently in 2016 with Rossi. The stout rookie class that has already taken the NTT Data IndyCar Series season by storm will look to add their name to that list. Full-time drivers Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist will all look to put their rookie of the year campaigns on a whole different level. Ben Hanley, Jordan King and 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward will look to make a statement on the biggest stage in IndyCar.
James Hinchcliffe will be looking for redemption in 2019 as he failed to qualify for the 2018 edition. He joins a strong Schmidt Peterson Motorsports lineup that includes fellow full-time teammate Ericsson and IndyCar veteran Oriol Servia. Servia will attempt to qualify for his eighth straight Indianapolis 500, his career-best finish came in 2012 where he finished fourth.
The IndyCar Series has five practices leading into Saturday and Sunday’s qualifying sessions. All of the practices are available via the NBC Sports Gold: IndyCar Package and we will have daily recaps posted at the end of the day to keep you informed. Qualifying kicks off on Saturday at 11 a.m. on the NBC Sports Gold: IndyCar Package and then they will add coverage on NBCSN at 5:00 p.m.
Last Row and Fast Nine qualifying kick off Sunday, May 19 on NBC at noon ET. By the end of the day Sunday, we will know the 33 drivers who will compete in the Indianapolis 500.
About the author
His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.
During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.
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