Indy 500 Practice Begins With Just 33 Entrants

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 17 2022

Helio Castroneves will attempt to become the first five-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 this month. (File photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

Practice for the 106th edition of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to begin today for a razor-thin, traditional field of 33 entrants led by four-time/reigning champion Helio Castroneves and anchored by journeyman Stefan Wilson. 

Castroneves’ bid to become the first five-time winner of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, May 29, figures to dominate activity at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021), joined A.J. Foyt Jr., Al Unser and Rick Mears in the most prestigious club in motorsports _ four-time Indianapolis 500 champions _ with his emotional victory on May 30, 2021 in the No. 06 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda fielded by Meyer Shank Racing.

Castroneves, 47, is running the full NTT IndyCar Series schedule with MSR this season, with the “Drive for Five” clearly topping the popular Brazilian’s to-do list. Castroneves would become the third-oldest winner in Indy 500 history _ behind brothers Al Unser and Bobby Unser _ with a victory this month.

Seven other former champions also are looking to repeat their milk-swigging “Month of May” moments in Victory Circle _ two-time winners Juan Pablo Montoya (2000, 2015) and Takuma Sato (2017, 2020) as well as single-winners Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2013), Alexander Rossi (2016), Will Power (2018) and Simon Pagenaud (2019). The record for winners in one field is 10, set in 1992.

One of the most exclusive clubs in all of sports; A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears and Helio Castronevers are the only four-time winners of the 500. Castroneves is on site in his bid for No. 5 today.

Castroneves also is aiming to become the first repeat winner since he achieved the feat with his first two victories, in 2001 and 2002, while driving for Team Penske. BorgWarner is offering a $400,000 bonus this year to Helio if he again can rack up back-to-back victories.

The field includes seven past INDYCAR champions, including reigning champ Alex Palou of Spain and Chip Ganassi Racing. The others are Dixon, Kanaan, Montoya, Josef Newgarden, Pagenaud and Power.

The race’s 33rd entry is the No. 25 Dallara/Chevrolet fielded for Englishman Stefan Wilson by DragonSpeed/Cusik Motorsports. The chassis was supplied by A.J. Foyt Enterprises after it was driven by series rookie Tatiana Calderon of Colombia in Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix on the IMS Road-Course as the No. 11 Foyt Chevy. The car since has been mechanically converted and re-wrapped into Wilson’s No. 25 Speedway car.

Jimmie Johnson will be looking to add a 500 win to his resume.

Seven drivers will compete for Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Rookie of the Year honors _ the biggest rookie crop since 2014, which also saw seven first-time starters. This year’s group includes the high-profile debuts of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Formula One veteran Romain Grosjean as well as Devlin DeFrancesco, Callum Ilott, Kyle Kirkwood, Christian Lundgaard and David Malukas.

Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing each have entered five cars, the most of any team.

Practice is scheduled to run from today through Fast Friday on May 20. PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, followed by a two-hour practice on Monday, May 23. The traditional final practice, the two-hour session on Miller Lite Carb Day, is booked for Friday, May 27.

Live Race Day coverage is scheduled to begin on NBC, Telemundo Deportes on Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network at 11 a.m. (ET), with the green flag to fly at 12:45 p.m.


Winners (8) _ Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato.

Rookies (7) _ Devlin DeFrancesco, Romain Grosjean, Callum Ilott, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Kirkwood, Christian Lundgaard, David Malukas.

U.S. drivers (13) _ Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta, JR Hildebrand, Jimmie Johnson, Sage Karam, Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi.

International drivers (20, from 14 countries) _ Helio Castroneves, Devlin DeFrancesco, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean, Jack Harvey, Callum Ilott, Tony Kanaan, Dalton Kellett, Christian Lundgaard, Scott McLaughlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, Pato O’Ward, Simon Pagenaud, Alex Palou, Will Power, Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato, Rinus VeeKay, Stefan Wilson.

Engines (33) _ Honda 17, Chevrolet 16 (all cars use Dallara chassis and Firestone Firehawk tires).

Official NTT IndyCar Series entry list for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 29, with car number in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car name with engine supplier and team entrant:

1.(1) Tony Kanaan-(W), Salvador, Brazil, The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing

  1. (2) Josef Newgarden, Nashville, Tenn., Shell Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  2. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Christchurch, New Zealand, Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  3. (4) Dalton Kellett, Stouffville, Canada, K-LINE/A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  4. (5) Pato O’Ward, Monterrey, Mexico, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet/Arrow McLaren SP
  5. (06) Helio Castroneves-(W), Sao Paulo, Brazil, AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda/Meyer Shank Racing
  6. (6) Juan Pablo Montoya-(W), Bogota, Colombia, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren SP
  7. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Varnamo, Sweden, Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet/Arrow McLaren SP
  8. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Kumla, Sweden, Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  9. (9) Scott Dixon-(W), Auckland, New Zealand, PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  10. (10) Alex Palou, Barcelona, Spain, NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  11. (11) JR Hildebrand, Sausalito, Calif., Homes For Our Troops/A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  12. (12) Will Power-(W), Toowoomba, Australia, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  13. (14) Kyle Kirkwood-(R), Jupiter, Fla., ROKIT/A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  14. (15) Graham Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, United Rentals Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  15. (18) David Malukas-(R), Chicago, Ill., HMD Honda/Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 
  16. (20) Conor Daly, Noblesville, Ind., BitNile Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  17. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  18. (23) Santino Ferrucci, Woodbury, Conn., Palermo’s DRR Chevrolet/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  19. (24) Sage Karam, Nazareth, Pa., AES Indiana DRR Chevrolet/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  20. (25) Stefan Wilson, Sheffield, England, DragonSpeed/Cusick Motorsports Chevrolet/DragonSpeed/Cusik Motorsports
  21. (26) Colton Herta, Valencia, Calif., Gainbridge Honda/Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian
  22. (27) Alexander Rossi-(W), Nevada City, Calif., NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda/Andretti Autosport
  23. (28) Romain Grosjean-(R), Geneva, Switzerland, DHL Honda/Andretti Autosport
  24. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco-(R), Toronto, Canada, PowerTap Honda/Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
  25. (30) Christian Lundgaard-(R), Hedensted, Denmark, People Ready Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  26. (33) Ed Carpenter, Indianapolis, Ind., Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  27. (45) Jack Harvey, Bassingham, England, Hy-Vee Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  28. (48) Jimmie Johnson-(R), El Cajon, Calif., Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  29. (30) Takuma Sato-(W), Tokyo, Japan, Nurtec ODT Honda/Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing
  30. (60) Simon Pagenaud-(W), Montmorillon, France, AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda/Meyer Shank Racing
  31. (77) Callum Ilott-(R), Cambridge, England, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet/Juncos Hollinger Racing
  32. (98) Marco Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., KULR Technology/Curb Honda/Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb

Note _ All cars use the fourth generation NTT IndyCar Series chassis (Dallara IR-12) with universal IR-18 aerodynamic bodywork, Chevrolet or Honda twin-turbocharged V-6 engines and Firestone Firehawk tires.

(W) _Denotes Indianapolis 500 winner

(R) _ Denotes Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year candidate

(Editor’s Note: John Sturbin is a Texas-based journalist specializing in motorsports. During a near 30-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he won the Bloys Britt Award for top motorsports story of the year (1991) as judged by The Associated Press; received the National Hot Rod Association’s Media Award (1997) and several in-house Star-Telegram honors. He also was inaugural recipient of the Texas Motor Speedway Excellence in Journalism Award (2009). His list of freelance clients includes Texas Motor Speedway, the Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Rome (N.Y) Daily Sentinel, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller Times, NASCAR Wire Service and Ford Racing).


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 17 2022
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