Today’s question: Who will win the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge this Sunday?
Curt Cavin: I had been looking for clarity with this pick, and Scott Dixon delivered it with those monster qualifying runs. It can be argued that Dixon had one of the stronger cars in each of the past two “500s,” although something derailed him each time. Will he be denied again? Impossible to say, obviously, but if you were assigning odds to win this race, Dixon’s numbers would be the lowest. And, almost no one in this field would be a more deserving winner. His career suggests he should be more than a single “500” winner by now.
Zach Horrall: The next generation of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has shined in many ways over the last two years, but one place this new era of drivers has struggled to conquer has been the Indianapolis 500. A prime example: Alex Palou got snookered by 20-year veteran Helio Castroneves in just his second Indy 500 last year. We’ve seen several records break over the last year at IMS, and I think we see another one fall this Sunday: Rinus VeeKay will become the youngest winner in the history of the Indianapolis 500. He’s been fast and consistent all month long, and I’ve never seen the three Ed Carpenter Racing drivers (VeeKay, Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter) more content than they were after Monday’s practice session. Troy Ruttman set the record in 1952 at 22 years, 80 days. On Sunday, VeeKay will be 21 years, eight months, 18 days.
Paul Kelly: With four cars in the top six, it almost has to be a Chip Ganassi Racing car in Victory Circle on Sunday afternoon for the first time since Dario Franchitti won in 2012, doesn’t it? Ganassi had three drivers in the top six of the starting grid that year, so I like Chip’s chances even more Sunday. Scott Dixon may be the odds-on favorite as the NTT P1 Award winner with the most monstrous pole run in Indy 500 history, but I’m picking reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou to win. Palou was so impressive last May at Indy, as it took an outside pass in Turn 1 on Lap 199 by Indy master Helio Castroneves for him to be denied. Palou has been quick all month, and he is driven to win this race after coming so close last year. I also like Tony Kanaan’s chances to become the third-oldest “500” winner in history due to his combination of speed this month with Ganassi and experience, but Palou is too fast and talented to be denied. He will become the first Spaniard with his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy.