Indy 500: When It Starts, How To Watch, Betting Odds For ‘The Greatest Spectacle In Racing’


Published By: Sports Desk

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Read all latest and breaking Sports News on News18.com

The countdown is on for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, when a field of 33 cars will cross the famed yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend for what is regarded as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The countdown is on for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, when a field of 33 cars will cross the famed yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend for what is regarded as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Josef Newgarden is the defending champion after he made a last-lap pass of Marcus Ericsson during a controversial finish a year ago. The victory gave team owner Roger Penske his record-extending 19th victory in the iconic race.

Team Penske arrived at Gasoline Alley this year under a shadow, though. Penske suspended two senior team leaders and two engineers as punishment for a cheating scandal that centered on Newgarden’s illegal use of his car’s push-to-pass system in his March 10 victory. IndyCar stripped Newgarden of the win and teammate Scott McLaughlin of a third-place finish.

Beyond the controversy, storylines abound: Can two-time and defending series champion Alex Palou finally win the Indy 500 after coming close the past three years? How will NASCAR star Kyle Larson fare in his Indy 500 debut, and will he be able to get to North Carolina in time to race in the Coca-Cola 600 the same night? Can Helio Castroneves win a record fifth Indy 500?

The green flag falls for the Indianapolis 500 at 12:45 p.m. EDT on May 26, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

Practice sessions were scheduled for May 15-17, full-field qualifying is May 18 and the pole shootout is May 19, followed by another practice day May 20. The final practice, known as Carb Day, takes place May 24, along with the pit-stop challenge and other festivities. The annual Indy 500 parade is May 25.

Indy 500 practices, including Carb Day, and full-field qualifying will be streamed on Peacock. The pole shootout on May 19 will be televised on NBC. Race coverage May 26 begins with pre-race action on NBC, Peacock and Universo at 11 a.m.

There will be plenty of eyes on Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion who is trying to join Tony Stewart as the only drivers ever to complete “the double,” finishing every lap of the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Several have tried over the years, most recently Kurt Busch in 2014, but the task has proven to be among the most grueling in motorsports.

Newgarden and 2018 winner Will Power will be trying to give team owner Roger Penske his 20th victory at the track he now owns along with the IndyCar Series itself. Their teammate, McLaughlin, would love to do the same thing by winning for the first time.

Castroneves can break a tie with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears for the most wins with his fifth. Two-time series champ Alex Palou is chasing his first win. So are Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal, whose fathers both raced in the Indy 500.

Alex Palou, who was second in 2021 and fourth last year, is the favorite at 4-1, according to BetMGM Sportsbook. Larson is the 13-2 second choice to win the Indy 500 in his debut. They are followed by Pato O’Ward (7-1) and Josef Newgarden (9-1).

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)



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