PREVIEW: 2021 NTT IndyCar Series – 105th Indianapolis 500 – The Checkered Flag

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Foyt, Unser, Mears. Franchitti, Wheldon, Castroneves. Probably the most iconic names in NTT IndyCar Collection historical past have their place on probably the most prestigious trophy within the sport, the Borg Warner Trophy. There’s just one factor standing between drivers and IndyCar immortality – 500 miles, 4 corners, and one yard of bricks. This Sunday, thirty-three of the world’s best drivers will vie for his or her shot at glory, however just one will take the checkered flag and drink the milk in victory lane. Right here’s every thing it’s worthwhile to know forward of the a hundred and fifth Indianapolis 500.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?

Away from it’s ordinary Might date, the 104th Indianapolis 500 befell in August of 2020. Marco Andretti lastly broke the household curse and began the race from pole place, however he wouldn’t even lead a single lap as he was handed by Scott Dixon.

Dixon dominated the vast majority of the race, as cautions claimed the vehicles of many much less skilled drivers like Ben Hanley, Marcus Ericsson, Dalton Kellett, Conor Daly, Oliver Askew and Alex Palou. Dixon was intently adopted by Alexander Rossi for a lot of the race, even utilizing each other to save lots of gas throughout one stint. Nevertheless, in the course of the pit stops after Palou’s wreck on lap 122, Rossi and Takuma Sato made contact on pit highway with IndyCar handing Rossi a penalty for an unsafe launch. Rossi re-started the race on lap 132 from the rear of the sphere, making unbelievable overtakes as he charged again to the entrance, however his aggression obtained the higher of him as he smashed the flip two wall on lap 144.

From this second on, it was a two-car battle for the win between the dominant Dixon and charging Sato, coming all the way down to the ultimate pit cease. Sato made the primary transfer, pitting on lap 168, and Dixon responded two laps later. A small error on pit lane by Dixon’s crew gave the result in Sato, and the 2 started to duel for the lead. Sato threw a block on Dixon into flip one with fifteen laps to go, and from there started to construct a niche. Because the laps waned, Dixon appeared like he was closing in on the “Wild Factor”, however a scary crash by Sato’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Spencer Pigot with 5 laps to go primarily ended the race underneath warning.

Pigot misplaced management in flip 4 and hit the skin wall, however mid-spin the automotive hooked left and ran Pigot straight into the tip of the pit wall t-boning his Hy-Vee Honda and sending him again up the observe. IndyCar didn’t crimson flag the race for the wreck to doubtlessly get one other restart, and awarded the win to Sato underneath warning with Dixon second and Graham Rahal third. This was Sato’s second Indianapolis 500 victory in three years, together with his first coming in 2017.

(Photograph Credit score: Joe Skibinski / Courtesy of IndyCar)

You may learn the total race report right here.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS WEEKEND?

All through nearly the entire observe classes, Chip Ganassi Racing proved that they’d the vehicles to beat, and proved it in qualifying as effectively. All 4 of their vehicles ended up within the quick 9 pole shootout, with Dixon claiming his fourth Indy 500 pole. Dixon’s teammates Tony Kanaan, Palou and Ericsson will begin fifth, sixth and ninth respectively. Out of all 4 drivers, Dixon is the person to beat, seeking to win his second Indy 500 and develop his factors lead with the double factors on supply this weekend.

Not solely CGR, however Honda proved that they’d the engine to beat as many Chevrolet-powered vehicles struggled to search out tempo. Staff Penske languished with no drivers beginning inside the highest fifteen, with Will Energy even needing to outlive bump day to make the sphere on the ultimate row and begin thirty-second. Rookie Scott McLaughlin would be the highest-placed starter for Penske in seventeenth place, adopted by Josef Newgarden in twenty-first and Simon Pagenaud in twenty-sixth.

There was one outlier to this, nonetheless, and that was Ed Carpenter Racing. ECR’s Rinus Veekay and Ed Carpenter have been the one two Chevys within the quick 9, they usually put collectively extremely aggressive runs to begin third and fourth respectively. Daly, the third ECR driver, was constantly one of many quickest drivers throughout observe classes, and although he begins down the sphere in nineteenth don’t depend out Carpenter’s crew come Sunday.

Andretti Autosport additionally has some sturdy entries, with three vehicles inside the highest ten. Colton Herta held the pole for a second earlier than it was snatched away by Dixon in quick 9 qualifying, however has a really quick automotive and can be beginning second. Additionally within the quick 9 shootout for Andretti was Ryan Hunter-Reay, who will begin seventh. Hunter-Reay, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, has been on the lookout for one thing to show his luck round this season and a powerful run at “The Biggest Spectacle in Racing” might be simply the treatment for his woes. Talking of Andretti drivers with woeful luck, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Rossi simply missed out on the quick 9, and can begin the race from tenth place.

One other attention-grabbing story to look at can be that of Paretta Autosport, a Penske-affiliated staff that grew to become the primary entry owned and pushed by girls to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Utilizing the identical chassis that Juncos Racing used to bump Fernando Alonso in 2019, Simona De Silvestro bested Charlie Kimball and RC Enerson to take the thirty-third and last beginning spot in an inspiring story for girls the world over of motorsports. De Silvestro is much from the primary girl to qualify for the occasion, going way back to Janet Guthrie in 1977, however the unbelievable success story of this female-forward staff is one that everybody can root for.

(Photograph Credit score: Matt Fraver / Courtesy of IndyCar)

WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEKEND?

Sunday 30 Might

1200 EST / 1700 BST – Race

WHERE CAN I WATCH?

Protection within the UK for the race can be supplied by Sky Sports activities F1.

In the US, protection for the race can be on NBC.

HOW CAN I KEEP UP WITH ALL THE ACTION?

You may observe all of the all of the motion right here at The Checkered Flag. We can be offering protection of the observe, qualifying, and race classes. You can even observe IndyCar on Twitter (@Indycar) for reside updates in the course of the classes.



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