15 drivers to ride along with in the Indianapolis 500

15 drivers to ride along with in the Indianapolis 500

They’re the most intense and thrilling laps in all of racing. The final pit stops are complete, the drivers at the sharp end know the moves they want to make, and now it’s every man for himself. It’s shootout time in the Indianapolis 500, and you can grab the best seat in the house and come along for the ride.

Sunday’s 106th Running has 15 drivers carrying onboard cameras, and you can live-stream every one of them, through 200 laps of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the INDYCAR Mobile App Powered by NTT DATA. It’s free to download for fans worldwide, so if you haven’t already, take your Indy 500 viewing experience to a whole new level HERE.

You choose who you climb aboard with, and you can switch at any time. Think Helio Castroneves or Colton Herta are going to make some serious early moves from deep in the field? Then hop on for a wild ride.

And as the final laps count down, the intensity level is off the charts, and those win-or-bust moves start coming, grab a seat and hang on — you might be riding it to Victory Lane.

Here are the 15 drivers ready to take you along for the ride on Sunday, plus how we rate their chances of being in the fight when things start to get tasty in those closing laps…

SCOTT DIXON, No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Starting position: Pole / Best Indy 500 finish: Win (2008)

After clinching his fifth Indy 500 pole and looking strong in race setup, Dixon should be a strong favorite. But his 2008 win aside, the Brickyard has rarely been kind to Chip Ganassi Racing’s six-time NTT IndyCar Series champ. Amazingly, it’s also the first time since 2005 that Dixon heads into the Indy 500 without at least one podium finish to his name, and he knows a good result at double-points Indy is a chance to put momentum into his season. But that bigger-picture stuff is an aside to the real mission this Sunday: notching up win No. 2 at the biggest race of all. If the racing gods are on his side, there’s every chance you could ride onboard with him all the way to Victory Lane.

WILL POWER, No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet

Starting position: 11th / Best Indy 500 finish: Win (2018)

Penske was never really in the pole conversation this time around, yet Power did get in the Fast 12, and his fourth-row starting spot is stout enough to allow the No. 12 team to run to its own plan in the early going. Power’s 2018 win didn’t entail a late-race shootout, but if the Aussie’s still in the frame this time around, he’s ready for any eventuality. “There are so many scenarios on how this thing might play out, especially depending on where the yellows might fall,” he says, “so you can never predict a race, but myself and the team, I think we’ve got the experience to know what to do, whatever the situation.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Starting position: 27th / Best Indy 500 finish: Win (4 times – 2001, 2002, 2009, 2021)

After joining the four-time Indy 500 winners’ club last year, it’s all about the “Drive for Five” for the Brazilian and his Meyer Shank Racing team. So far, it’s been a bit of a struggle to unlock ultimate speed, but come race day, if Helio’s on the lead lap in the final phase, he’s got the experience and tactical savvy to turn even half a chance into a race-winning proposition. “We’ve just got to do what we did last year. Simple,” he says. “The race car feels good — definitely as good as last year — and hopefully by half-distance we might be up there, racing with the guys at the front for the win.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing

Starting position: 16th / Best Indy 500 finish: Win (2019)

Pagenaud knows how to win an Indy 500 and, despite only recently joining IndyCar’s elite, so does Meyer Shank Racing. The combo hasn’t been earth shattering on speed so far this Month of May, but if the weather forecast is correct, expect the Frenchman to be in the mix as the race reaches its crescendo. “Hopefully we get a really hot day,” he says, “which would really highlight how good our race car is. I’m really comfortable with it; it’s very strong in traffic, and I can attack with it. So, for me, the hotter the better!”

ALEXANDER ROSSI, No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda

Starting position: 20th / Best Indy 500 finish: Win (2016)

Winless in the NTT IndyCar Series since 2019, Rossi’s on a mission to return to Victory Lane in 2022. The sport’s biggest stage, where he won as a rookie in 2016, would be quite the place to end the drought. OK, it’s not been the best Month of May for the Andretti Autosport fleet, and Rossi’s recent Indy 500s have been nothing to write home about, but he’s tried, proven and motivated. Keep an eye on the No. 27 and maybe catch a ride.

COLTON HERTA, No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda

Starting position: 25th / Best Indy 500 finish: 8th (2020)

Seven wins into his NTT IndyCar Series career, Herta is yet to win on an oval. A frustrating qualifying weekend sees him starting the 106th Running back on the ninth row, and a huge crash and flip in Carb Day running means he’ll be starting the race in a backup car. Even so, don’t expect him to be wallowing at the back for too long. You want some early-laps excitement? We suggest you get onboard with Colton.

ALEX PALOU, No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Starting position: 2nd / Best Indy 500 finish: 2nd (2021)

For a couple minutes last Sunday afternoon, reigning NTT IndyCar Series champ Alex Palou was on the verge of celebrating his first Indy 500 pole — until teammate Scott Dixon put in his record-breaking run. Nevertheless, a second-place starting position puts him exactly where he wants to be in determining early strategies, and the Chip Ganassi Racing cars look as strong in race trim as they did in qualifying guise. His battle with Helio Castroneves in last year’s 500, when the Spaniard had to settle for second, was the ultimate in accelerated learning curves, so expect him to be a major factor this time around. Will the No. 10 Honda be the best seat in the house? Could be.

PATO O’WARD, No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Starting position: 7th / Best Indy 500 finish: 4th (2021)

Sixth in his first Indy start in 2020, then fourth last year with 17 laps led, O’Ward looks likely to take it up another notch this time around. His seventh starting position (BELOW) is in the sweet spot for the Arrow McLaren SP team to run its optimum strategy in the early phases of the race. After that, Pato’s grasp of the nuances of high-speed ovals and his fearlessness in choosing the moves when it’s go-time could make for a very big day for the ebullient Mexican. If you’re looking for some raw excitement in the closing laps, hop onboard with this guy.

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Starting position: 21st / Best Indy 500 finish: 3rd (2011 and 2020)

Twelve months ago, Rahal looked like a potential race winner until, post-pit stop, a wheel parted company and ended his day in the wall. This time around, RLL’s been on a frustrating hunt for speed, but Rahal remains positive that he’ll be a race day factor once again, noting: “The month’s been a bit of a challenge for us, which is no secret to anybody, but we believe that on Sunday we can play a positive role and get this United Rentals car to the front. We feel we’re in a good spot — car feels good, and the same, but even more motivated crew.” In which case, a good spot might be riding along for one of his trademark carves through the field.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet

Starting position: 14th / Best Indy 500 finish: 3rd (2016)

Heading into his 11th Indy 500 start, the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champ is still searching for that elusive first win. Team Penske can be relied on to provide an effective race day weapon, and Newgarden isn’t unduly burdened by his 10 for zero record so far — “They either happen, or they don’t,” he says, “and how it’s all going to come together on Sunday, I don’t know. I’m just doing the best job I can, like always, and hopefully it works out” – so expect him to be somewhere near the sharp end as the laps count down.

CONOR DALY, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Starting position: 18th / Best Indy 500 finish: 10th (2019)

A breakout performance in last year’s Indy 500 saw Daly lead a race-high 40 laps, until an errant wheel from Graham Rahal’s car damaged his front wing, compromising aero performance and leaving him 13th at the end. A year on, Daly knows ECR has brought great Speedway cars again and is ready for race day, regardless of temperatures and conditions on Sunday. “We’re going to the front early, that’s the plan,” he says. “Who knows what sort of a race it’ll be at the front — will guys be biding their time, or will there be a lot of passing? Either way, we need to be ready for it.”

JACK HARVEY, No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Starting position: 32nd / Best Indy 500 finish: 9th (2020)

Like teammate Graham Rahal, Harvey will be banking on RLL’s Indy 500 race day strengths coming to the fore again in his sixth start. The Brit is yet to win his first NTT IndyCar Series race, and the biggest one of all might be a big ask for his breakthrough, but he’s not ruling anything out. “We might have made it hard for ourselves in qualifying, but when it comes to the race, the team always has good cars, we make good decisions, and we have strong pit stops,” he says. “We’ve got a shot because we’re in the race. It’s the Indy 500, so anything can happen.”

FELIX ROSENQVIST, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Starting position: 8th / Best Indy 500 finish: 12th (2020)

After three Indy 500 starts, including a crash, a fuel gamble that didn’t pay off and a best finish of 12th, Rosenqvist believes start No. 4 is the one where things begin to get serious. He’s starting eighth, which he feels is a decent position to stay out of mischief in the early going. That being the case, the Arrow McLaren SP cars have shown they have the pace to be in the fight as the race heads to the money laps.

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Starting position: 31st / Best Indy 500 finish: Rookie

The Danish rookie qualified one spot ahead of his teammate, Jack Harvey, but all things are relative and it’s still a last-row spot. Yet, as we’ve already noted, RLL tends to take it up a level on race day. A 19th-place finish in Texas in his only oval race start has given him a sniff of what it’s like to be in the pack as the craziness begins to ratchet up — now increase that by a factor of 10 for what’s going to kick off in the final stages of the Indy 500. If he can keep his head and pick his fights, he could be in contention for top-finishing rookie – and maybe a little more…

JIMMIE JOHNSON, No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Starting position: 12th / Best Indy 500 finish: Rookie

Johnson is a four-time winner of NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, but the frenetic final laps of an Indy 500 are a totally different ball game. The seven-time Cup Series champ has proved he has the pace, getting into the Fast 12 and qualifying 12th (BELOW) — second fastest rookie behind only Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean — and seems comfortable in a drafting train, too. If he’s still in the conversation when things start to get racey, he could be an exciting guy to ride along with.

To climb onboard and enjoy the best seat in the house for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500, make sure you sign up for the INDYCAR Mobile App Powered by NTT DATA, the official mobile app of the NTT IndyCar Series.

In addition to live in-car race cameras, it features live timing and scoring, live driver and pit crew radio transmissions, live points updates, and INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activity.

Add in exclusive content, video highlights, spotter guides, easy access for playing the IndyCar Fantasy Challenge Driven by Firestone, plus loads more great features, and it’s your essential deep-dive into the NTT IndyCar Series.

And did we mention that it’s free? Don’t miss out — CLICK HERE to get started

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