In just one week, the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, one of the most famous annual events in sports, will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Last year, Helio Castroneves won the Indy 500 for the fourth time. With that win, he joined A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, and Al Unser Sr. as the only drivers to win the race four times.
This year, Castroneves will aim to put himself above them all with his fifth win. But if he is going to win, it will have to come from deep in the field to do so.
Four Former Winners Advance to Sunday Qualifying Shootout
On Saturday, the first round of qualifying took place. The top twelve from yesterday’s results will take part in two more rounds of qualifying today to determine the top twelve starting positions, while the remaining drivers are locked into their starting positions. Castroneves finished 27th, so he will have some work to do come next Sunday.
The fastest twelve cars from yesterday will have a second round of qualifying this afternoon, with the top six advancing to a final round to hash out the top six spots on the 2022 Indianapolis 500 starting grid and 7-12 being locked into their spots.
Times from Saturday do not factor into the final result, but they do determine the order of the second round of qualifying, which will occur in reverse order (the 12th-fastest driver will go out first, while the fastest driver will go out last).
Going out last in the second round of qualifying will be Dutch driver Rinus VeeKay, who beat out the field with a top speed of 233.655 mph.
The 21-year-old, whose lone IndyCar Series win to date came at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in last year’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis, was one of only two drivers who posted a speed above 233 mph, with Pato O’Ward being the other.
Here’s a look at the twelve drivers who will duke it out for pole position and their speeds from yesterday:
2022 Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Top 12
- Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing) – 233.655 mph
- Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren SP) – 233.037 mph
- Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren SP) – 232.775 mph
- Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing) – 232.774 mph
- Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing) – 232.625 mph
- Jimmie Johnson (Chip Ganassi Racing) – 232.398 mph
- Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing) – 232.397 mph
- Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing) – 232.275 mph
- Romain Grosjean (Andretti Autosport) – 232.201 mph
- Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) – 232.151 mph
- Will Power (Team Penske) -231.842 mph
- Takuma Sato (Dale Coyne Racing/Rick Ware Racing) – 231.708 mph
Sato, who won the race in 2017 and 2020, is the only two-time Indy 500 winner in the top 12, while Kanaan (2013), Dixon (2008), and Power (2018) are also former winners.
The two other most recognizable names, at least for more casual racing fans and bettors, are seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean. Johnson and Grosjean will be in the Indianapolis 500 field for the first time, and they will be aiming to start from the very front of the grid.
So, how do Indianapolis 500 odds shake out ahead of today’s qualifying shootout?
2022 Indianapolis 500 Odds (As of Sunday, May 22)
Odds are via FanDuel. Drivers in bold are assured of a top-12 starting spot.
- Scott Dixon +750
- Josef Newgarden +850
- Colton Herta +850
- Alex Palou +850
- Pato O’Ward +1000
- Scott McLaughlin +1000
- Will Power +1300
- Helio Castroneves +1800
- Alexander Rossi +2000
- Graham Rahal +2200
- Tony Kanaan +2200
- Takuma Sato +2200
- Jimmie Johnson +2400
- Rinus VeeKay +2600
- Marcus Ericsson +2800
- Felix Rosenqvist +2800
- Simon Pagenaud +2800
- Romain Grosjean +3000
- Juan Pablo Montoya +3000
- Ed Carpenter +5000
- Kyle Kirkwood +5000
- Marco Andretti +5000
- Conor Daly +5000
- Jack Harvey +7000
- Santino Ferrucci +7000
- Devlin Defrancesco +7000
- Christian Lundgaard +7500
- David Malukas +11000
- Sage Karam +12000
- Callum Ilott +14000
- J.R. Hildebrand +18000
- Dalton Kellett +20000
The only driver not listed is Stefan Wilson, who did not record a time on Saturday due to an engine failure in practice and will start last in the 33-car field.
Given the nature of the race, those who finished outside of the top twelve are by no means out of the mix. However, the last five winners (Sato in 2017 and 2020, Power in 2018, Simon Pagenaud in 2019, and Castroneves last year) all started on the first three rows.
The last driver to win from outside the top 15 was Ryan Hunter-Reay, who started 19th when he won in 2014. The late, great Dan Wheldon was the last driver to win from outside the top 20 when he took his first Indy 500 win in 2005.
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