By: Spencer Neff
May 26, 2023
Following months of preparation both on and off the track, it is almost race day at the Indianapolis 500. On Sunday, the Field of 33 will strap in for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented By Gainbridge.
Before the final preparations commence for Carb Day, here’s a look at some of the pre-race stories to watch.
After earning his first career pole at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou will look to make it a clean sweep of the month of May. 13 days ago, the Spaniard took his first win of 2023 in a dominant performance at the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Five days ago, he turned in a four-lap average of 234.217 mph to earn the fastest pole in “500” history. After his second consecutive front row starts, Palou looks to earn his first win in his fourth start at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Last year, he started second and rebounded from a pit lane speeding penalty to finish eighth.
This year, he earned Honda’s fourth consecutive “500” pole and will look to be the driver to extend Honda’s Indianapolis 500 win streak to four races.
Beside Palou on the front row are Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Veekay and Arrow McLaren’s Felix Rosenqvist. VeeKay narrowly missed out on the pole by .oo40 of a second, the closest margin between the top qualifiers ever. Although he has yet to win a pole or finish better than eighth (2021), the fourth-year driver has started fourth, third, third and now second to begin his career on the IMS Oval.
Rosenqvist led Saturday qualifying and Sunday afternoon’s Fast 12 round. After starting on pole at Texas, he will look to break into Victory Lane following up on a career-best fourth-place effort last year. Arrow McLaren and Ganassi will have eight of the Top 10 starters as CGR looks for to defend their 2022 victory. (Marcus Ericsson).
This year, Arrow McLaren will field the drivers who finished second, third, fourth and fifth (Third-place Tony Kanaan and fifth-place Alexander Rossi join Rosenqvist and 2022 runner-up Pato O”Ward.)
Sunday will have extra meaning for Kanaan, who plans on this being his last INDYCAR race (“Capitulo Final” in the Brazilian’s native Portuguese.)
Following an accident in Monday’s practice with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Katherine Legge, Dreyer and Reinbold’s Stefan Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic (T12) vertebrae in his back. On Thursday, Wilson underwent successful surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
Needing a replacement driver for Wilson, DRR have turned to Graham Rahal. After getting bumped and failing to qualify for the 33-car field, Rahal will fill in and makes his 16th start at the Indianapolis 500. IndyCar1909 sends best wishes to Stefan and his family as he recovers from the injury.
Indianapolis 500 Starting Lineup Live Grid Pit Stop Challenge Bracket Pit Assignments
Race weekend: Friday, May 26 – Sunday, May 28
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5-mile oval
Race distance: 200 laps / 500 miles
Firestone tire allotment: Thirty-four sets for use throughout the event.
Twitter: @IMS @IndyCar, #Indy500 #ThisIsMay, #IndyCar
INDYCAR website: www.indycar.com
2022 race winner: Marcus Ericsson (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)
2023 NTT P1 Award winner: Alex Palou (No. 10 The American Legion Honda), 2:33.7037, 234.217 mph (four laps)
NBC race broadcast: Sunday, May 28 (11 a.m. ET)
Mike Tirico serves as host for NBC’s telecast of the 107th Indianapolis 500 alongside Danica Patrick. Leigh Diffey will be the play-by-play announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. The pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns and Dillon Welch. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte will provide commentary and reports from around IMS throughout pre-race and race coverage.
Universo will provide a Spanish-language telecast with Frederik Oldenburg and Sergio Rodriguez providing commentary on Universo and streaming on TelemundoDeportes.comand the Telemundo Deportes app. Veronica Rodriguez will provide on-site reports from IMS.
Peacock Live Streaming: The NTT INDYCAR SERIES Carb Day practice session, Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, AES Indiana 500 Festival Parade, Indianapolis 500 race broadcast and Indy 500 Victory Celebration will stream live on Peacock, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Miller Lite Carb Day: 11 a.m. ET Friday; Race Day: 10 a.m. Sunday. Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Paul Page will provide commentary. Nick Yeoman (Turn 1), Michael Young (Turn 2), Jake Query (Turn 3) and Chris Denari (Turn 4) are the turn announcers with Ryan Myrehn, Alex Wollf, Rob Blackman and Scott Sander on pit road.
At-track schedule (all times local):
FRIDAY, MAY 26
11 a.m.-1 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice (120 minutes), Peacock
2:30-4 p.m. Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, Peacock
SATURDAY, MAY 27
10:30-11 a.m. Indianapolis 500 Public Drivers’ Meeting, INDYCAR.com
Noon – AES 500 Festival Parade, Peacock
SUNDAY, MAY 28
10:30 a.m. – Cars to the Grid
11:47 a.m. – Driver Introductions
12:14 p.m. – Indy 500 Pre-Race Ceremonies
12:29 p.m. – “Drivers to Your Cars”
12:38 p.m. – Command to Start Engines
12:45 p.m. – 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge (200 laps/500 miles), NBC/Peacock
Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR