Indiana Daily Student

What to know before the 106th Indianapolis 500

<p>Josef Newgarden sits in his car during an IndyCar testing session Feb. 14, 2022, at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Country singer Blake Shelton will serve as grand marshal of the 106th Indy 500 and will give the command to drivers.</p>

Josef Newgarden sits in his car during an IndyCar testing session Feb. 14, 2022, at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Country singer Blake Shelton will serve as grand marshal of the 106th Indy 500 and will give the command to drivers.

The Borg-Warner Trophy is at stake this Sunday as IndyCar drivers race in the 106th Indianapolis 500. With so much information during the month of May, it can be difficult to know what to pay attention to — here’s a list of notable storylines and info for both casual and die-hard Indy 500 fans.

Pole position

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon — who is frequently referred to by commentators and fans as “The Iceman,” due to his calm and cool demeanor — earned his fifth Indianapolis 500 pole with the fastest pole time in history. 

His four-lap average came in at 234.046 mph, topping Scott Brayton’s previous pole record of 233.718 mph from 1996. Dixon’s other Indianapolis 500 poles came in 2021, 2017, 2015 and 2008 — which is the year he won the Indy 500.

Favorites to win

Whether you like to bet on the Indianapolis 500, compete with family and friends or simply want to know who has a shot this weekend, there are two favorites to be aware of, according to Caesars Sportsbook: Dixon, and Chip Ganassi Racing driver Alex Palou, who will start second behind the pole winner.

Picking any of the drivers from Chip Ganassi Racing to win, though, is still a safe bet. All five of the team’s drivers — Dixon, Palou, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Kanaan and Marcus Ericsson — made the Fast 12. All but Johnson then advanced to the Fast Six, which is the group of drivers who advanced through all prior rounds of qualifying. Only drivers in the Fast Six can compete for the pole.

Rookies to watch

Johnson and Andretti Autosport driver Romain Grosjean  took the highest qualifying spots out of this year’s pool of rookies. Grosjean will start ninth and Johnson will start twelfth. 

Other Indianapolis 500 rookies include Juncos Holliger Racing driver Callum Ilott, A.J. Foyt Enterprises driver Kyle Kirkwood, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Christian Lundgaard, Dale Coyne Racing with HMO Motorsports driver David Malukas and Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport driver Devlin DeFrancesco.

Pre-race festivities and start time

Coverage of the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 will begin at 11 a.m. ET on NBC. The pre-race coverage will lead into the race itself, which is slated to begin at 12:45 p.m ET. 

Before the race begins, actor and recording artist Jordan Fisher will sing the national anthem. Girl Named Tom, who won season 21 of “The Voice,” will perform “America The Beautiful,” and Jim Corenlison will return for his sixth year as the “Back Home Again in Indiana” singer.

Country singer Blake Shelton will serve as grand marshal of the event and will give the command to drivers. Actor Miles Teller will wave the green flag as the honorary starter, and former IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher will lead the field to green as the pace car driver.


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