Indy Car Racing
2012 Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Speedway, Indiana
2.5 mile rectangular oval – 9 degree banking
Sunday, May 27, 2012, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
2011 Winner: Dan Wheldon
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
The 96th edition of the Indianapolis 500 will be bittersweet. The 2011 race ended with Dan Wheldon passing rookie J.R. Hildebrand on the last lap. Hildebrand hit the wall on the last turn enabling Wheldon to win his second Indy 500. Tragically, Wheldon later that year was killed in a horrific crash in the last race of the season in Las Vegas. Wheldon was one of the most loved and respected drivers in Indy Car racing, and will certainly be missed.
However, the racing will go on. The day before Memorial Day is always one of the biggest days in racing as Formula One, Indy Car, and NASCAR all hold marquee events on that day. It begins with the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo, then the Indianapolis 500, and concludes with the Coca-Cola 600.
Here is a look at the contenders and their odds to win courtesy of bookmaker. I will also look at some of the head-to-head match-ups. The 33 car starting grid will be led by Ryan Briscoe who won the pole for the Indianapolis 500.
One driver absent from the field is Danica Patrick who moved on to NASCAR full time. The field is still packed with star power, and should be an exciting race.
Ryan Briscoe (4/1)
Briscoe looks to continue the dominance of Penske Racing so far in 2012. Penske cars have won all four races so far. Briscoe won his first pole of the season at Indy. He had a top 5 at St. Petersburg to open the season and a top 10 at Long Beach. He is tied for seventh in points. Briscoe has 6 career wins, and has never won the Indianapolis 500. He should be there at the end, but it is difficult to win from the pole position. Briscoe is -120 to beat Will Power and -140 to beat Helio Castroneves.
Will Power (5/1)
Power has won 3 races in a row in Birmingham, Long Beach and Sao Paulo. He leads the points by 45 points over Castroneves. Power qualified fifth for the Indy 500. He has never won the Indy 500, but this could be his year as hot as he has been. He has a top 5 and a top 10 in 4 career Indy 500 starts. Power is -110 to beat Briscoe and -105 to beat Castroneves. I like him in both those match-ups and Power is my pick to win the race.
Helio Castroneves (5/1)
Castoneves is second in points behind Power. He won at St. Petersburg and has two other top 5’s in four races. Castroneves qualified 6th for the Indianapolis 500. He has won this race 3 times, and has 9 top tens in 11 starts at the Brickyard. Castroneves is +110 to beat Briscoe, -105 to beat Power, and -130 to beat Marco Andretti. I like him to beat Briscoe and Andretti.
Marco Andretti (11/2)
Andretti qualified 4th for the Indy 500. He hasn’t finished higher than 11th in four races so far this season, and is 19th in points. Andretti has never won the Indy 500, but has a second and 2 thirds in six career starts. I like Andretti at -130 to beat Dario Franchitti. Andretti could contend at the end as well.
Dario Franchitti (15/2)
Franchitti is 10th in points with a top 5 at Sao Paulo and a top 10 at Birmingham. He qualified 16th at Indy. He won this race in 2007 and 2010, and has 5 top tens in 8 starts. I like Franchitti at -125 to beat Scott Dixon, and a top ten is likely barring an accident or engine problems.
James Hinchcliffe (8/1)
Hinchcliffe is 3rd in points this season with top 10’s in all four races so far this season. He qualified second at Indianapolis this year. He finished 13th last year in his rookie year at Indianapolis. He is very talented and should contend at the end. I like him at -150 to beat Ryan Hunter Reay.
Scott Dixon (9/1)
Dixon is 6th in points with runner ups at St. Petersburg and Birmingham. He qualified 15th for this race. Dixon has six straight top 6 or better finishes in the Indy 500 dating back to 2006, including a win in 2008. A top ten or even a top 5 is likely again, and I like him at -155 to beat Graham Rahal.
Tony Kanaan (10/1)
Kanaan is 14th in points with a top 5 at Long Beach. Kanaan qualified 8th for the Indianapolis 500. Kanaan has never won the race before, but has 5 top tens in 10 career starts at Indianapolis, including 4 top 5’s. He finished 4th last year. Kanaan is +120 to beat Castroneves. I like Castroneves in that match-up.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (10/1)
Reay is 4th in the points with 3 top six finishes in four races. He qualified 3rd at Indy. He has one top 10 in four career starts at the Brickyard. Another top 10 is a possibility.
It should be an exciting race. I hope you enjoy the race on your Memorial Day Weekend.