INDIANAPOLIS -- After a condensed schedule that saw only one week of practice and one weekend of qualifications, it's time to get ready for the "World's Greatest Race" -- the Indianapolis 500.
Several drivers experienced heartbreak, notably
Tracy's story is but one of many tales that has established what 350,000 fans jamming the grandstands of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will see Sunday afternoon (ABC, 1 p.m. race start). Indeed, the race has changed since
And sometime Sunday, one driver will be able to drive into Victory Lane and drink the traditional bottle of milk that goes to the winner of the Indianapolis 500.
But first, let's get started with SI.com's Five-Minute Guide to the 94th Indianapolis 500.
Kanaan had a terrible run of luck last weekend when he crashed on Pole Day on Saturday and crashed again in Sunday morning's practice session. His team repaired the car in time for him to get into the field with 37 minutes left in qualifications. He was originally in the 32nd starting position but the Andretti Autosport team decided to rebuild his race car -- one they think can win the race -- so he moves to the last position in the lineup.
But keep an eye on Kanaan's No. 11 car at the start of the race and see how many cars he passes on the first lap. In fact, drivers in Gasoline Alley are starting a Tony Kanaan Pool to see how many cars he picks off before the completion of Lap 1. "I think he can pick off a couple of rows," said teammate
My guess is it won't be long before he catches teammate
But the favorite often doesn't win this race and that is why if Castroneves is the victor on Sunday, he will overcome some historical odds.
Many of the drivers admitted on Thursday that the temptation to use their push-to-pass button will be strong in the early-going on the long straightaways at Indianapolis. But that would be unwise as the extra horsepower needs to be conserved for late in the race. This will also be a valuable tool on restarts, so look for drivers to hit the button heading down the frontstretch during restarts.
But as one driver astutely noted on Thursday, the only restart that is really going to matter will be the final restart of the race.
Even on Thursday she admitted she is not comfortable with the race setup on her car, which means the team will have to use Friday's Carb Day one-hour practice session to try a few things rather than do a simple installation check.
The three other female drivers are all talented, including veteran
It would be easy to pick de Silvestro out of this group based on her performances from earlier this season, but Patrick's experience will keep her out of trouble and in the top 10.
When it comes to driving an IZOD IndyCar, Dixon is as good as it gets, which is why he's my pick to win on Sunday.