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SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The field for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 is full of familiar names as well as new names and faces and with it new stories to tell.

This is the second-fastest front row in Indianapolis 500 history, with an average speed of 233.981 mph. The record of 234.181 mph was set last year.

There are eight former Indianapolis 500 winners in the starting field. Between them, they have 12 victories. The record for most former winners in the field is 10, in 1992. The fewest, other than the inaugural race in 1911, is zero in 1912.

There are six rookies. The oldest driver is 49 years old. The youngest driver is 19.

Introduce yourself to the 33 drivers who will take the green flag for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

 

1. Scott McLaughlin. Inside, Row 1 (234.220 mph)

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Scott McLaughlin set the fastest pole speed ever in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 at 234.220 mph. 

McLaughlin is a native of New Zealand and grew up racing go-kart, eventually working his way up to racing Australian Super Cars for Team Penske.

In 2019, Roger Penske brought McLaughlin to North America to give him a shot at open-wheel racing and so far it has paid off for “The Captain.”

McLaughlin has won five races in four IndyCar seasons finishing 3rd in the overall series points standings last year.

2. Will Power. Middle, Row 1 (233.917 mph)

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The 2018 Indianapolis 500 champion is the NTT IndyCar Series record holder for most career pole position starts, yet the one pole that has evaded him in his nearly two-decade-long career is an Indy 500 pole.

Power’s average of 233.917 mph left him just shy of his teammate, Scott Mclaughlin. 

Nevertheless, this will be the third time he has ever started in the Middle of Row 1. He started from 3rd on the outside of Row 1 when he won the race in 2018.

A native of Australia, Power made his first start in IndyCar racing in 2005 while racing in what was then the Champ Car World Series. He joined Team Penske in 2009 and has won 41 career races, along with his record 71 pole positions.

3. Josef Newgarden. Outside, Row 1 (233.808 mph)

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The defending champion of the Indianapolis 500 is in prime position to become the first driver to win back-to-back races since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002.

If he pulls it off he would receive a six-figure bonus from BorgWarner. That and many other reasons is ample motivation for Newgarden to be a contender come Sunday. 

Newgarden is widely regarded as the most recognizable driver in the IndyCar paddock having won 29 races and two NTT IndyCar Series championships with Team Penske since bursting onto the scene in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Racing.

Newgarden signed with Penske in 2017 after qualifying 2nd and finishing 3rd in the Indianapolis 500 in 2016 with Ed Carpenter Racing. 

His third starting spot this year is his best starting position since that 2016 race.

4. Alexander Rossi. Inside, Row 2 (233.090 mph)

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Alexander Rossi said he was “annoyed” when Team Penske was able to secure the front-row sweep of the Indianapolis 500.

He was certainly a contender to keep the lockout from happening, but his average of 233.090 mph didn’t quite get it done despite showing lots of raw speed in practice.

Rossi, in his second year with Arrow McLaren Racing, has been looking to get back in form having not won a race since he won on the IMS road course in 2022.

His first career win in the NTT IndyCar Series happened to be his biggest in 2016 when he won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Since then he has won seven other races and has contended for the series championship.

A native of northern California, Rossi came up driving in the European ladder, even notching five starts in Formula One with Manor Marussia before coming back to North America.

5. Kyle Larson. Middle, Row 2 (232.846 mph)

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Kyle Larson has one of the most diverse racing backgrounds in the world and is diversifying even more by taking on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in open-wheel cars.

Larson, a former NASCAR Cup Series champion, is attempting “The Double” this season; trying to run a total of 1,100 miles in one day of racing between the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte.

Larson has taken to IndyCar racing rather quickly as he is the top qualifying rookie in the field. 

His entry in the field also marks the first entry into the Indianapolis 500 by Hendrick Motorsports, who are partnering with Arrow McLaren Racing in the endeavor. 

Larson came up in midgets, USAC, and World of Outlaws out west before making it to the NASCAR Cup Series. Larson’s deal also means he will attempt The Double next season as well.

6. Santino Ferrucci. Outside, Row 2 (232.692 mph)

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Santino Ferrucci and AJ Foyt seem to be the perfect partnership of driver and owner.

Foyt was a fighter on the race track in his day (and sometimes in the pits), while Ferrucci is just as aggressive as his boss was when the helmet goes on.

Ferrucci, who had struggled to maintain a full-time ride in the NTT IndyCar Series in recent years, has finally found some “continuity”, as he put it, with AJ Foyt Racing.

Last year, he piloted the storied No. 14-car to a third-place finish, which came as a surprise to many given Foyt’s recent struggles to remain competitive in the series.

Ferrucci’s arrival last year marked a shift in that competitiveness. 

A native of Woodbury, Connecticut, Ferrucci has the best averaging finishing position in the current field of drivers when it comes to the Indianapolis 500. He has never finished no worse than 10th in five starts in the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing.”

7. Rinus Veekay. Inside, Row 3 (232.610 mph)

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Like Ferrucci’s ability to finish high in the Indianapolis 500, Rinus Veekay is known for his knack for qualifying high for the race.

Racing for Ed Carpenter Racing, which is historically good at qualifying, Veekay put together a clutch run late in qualifying on Saturday to make the Fast 12. That after he wrecked his car on his first run earlier that same day.

It’s hard to believe that in what will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 start, his 7th starting position will be his worst starting spot ever.

The Dutch driver is a protege of two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk and has won one race in his career on the IMS road course.

8. Pato O’Ward. Middle, Row 3 (232.584 mph)

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One of the most popular drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series paddock, Pato O’Ward was a contender last year for the win but wrecked in the final laps trying to make an aggressive move on Marcus Ericsson.

He would be credited with 24th in 2023.

O’Ward says he has learned from that experience and plans to be more “calculated” in his approach to the race this time around.

O’Ward first came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a part-time ride with Carlin Racing in 2019 but failed to make the field. Since joining Arrow McLaren Racing he’s now qualified in the top ten four years in a row.

A native of Monterrey, Mexico, O’Ward is also a reserve driver for McLaren’s F1 team.

He was awarded the win at St. Petersburg this season after the Penske P2P Scandal stripped the win from Josef Newgarden but has not won on the race track itself since Iowa Speedway in 2022. That’s a tough pill to swallow for O’Ward since he has seven podium finishes in 2023.

9. Felix Rosenqvist. Outside, Row 3 (232.305 mph)

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Another one of a growing number of Swedish drivers in North American open-wheel racing, Felix Rosenqvist finds himself with his third different team in his six year long IndyCar career.

Rosenqvist has been a solid competitor but has not found victory lane since gathering his only IndyCar win at Road American in 2020 when he was with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Having spent three seasons with Arrow McLaren since then, Rosenqvist is now the veteran full-time driver at Meyer Shank Racing.

Rosenqvist is another European ladder veteran having made a handful of starts in Formula One and in Sports Cars before coming to IndyCar in 2019.

His best finish in the “500” was 4th in 2022. Outside of that result each of his four other Indy 500 starts have come with finishes 12th place or worse.

10. Takuma Sato. Inside, Row 4 (232.171 mph)

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The term “Ole Reliable” were to apply to any driver on this years Indianapolis 500 starting grid, it would be Takuma Sato.

A two-time Indianapolis 500 champion (2017, 2020), Sato is back with Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing for the second time in his career in a one-off ride in the ‘500’.

Rahal cars struggled once again to find speed to be competitive in qualifying, but the one outlier was Sato, who was th only Rahal representative in the Fast 12.

Sato, a native of Tokyo, Japan, was the first Asian driver to win the Indy 500 in 2017. 

11. Kyle Kirkwood. Middle, Row 4 (230.993 mph)

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The only Andretti Global driver to make the Fast 12, Kyle Kirkwood has already accomplished a lot in his young career in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Kirkwood was a burgeoning competitor in the Indy NXT Series (formerly Indy Lights), winning championships in each of the IndyCar ladder series’ before making the jump to the top series in 2022 with AJ Foyt Racing.

Now in his second year with Andretti, he won two races last year and came home a respectable 15th after starting 28th in last year’s Indianapolis 500.

A native of Jupiter, Florida, Kirkwood will have his best starting position in the Indy 500 in what will be his 3rd career start.

12. Ryan Hunter-Reay. Outside, Row 14 (230.567 mph)

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Ryan Hunter-Reay has fully embraced being a one-off driver in the Indianapolis 500.

He is back for his second year in that role with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. However, this will be the first year that the Indy 500 will be the only IndyCar race he runs in a season.

Last year was supposed to be that same arrangement, but Ed Carpenter Racing brought RHR in to finish the season in a seat left behind by Conor Daly after he and ECR parted ways.

Ironically, Daly and RHR are now teammates at DRR. 

Hunter-Reay was the NTT IndyCar Series champion in 2012 and two years later won the Indianapolis 500. Hunter-Reay was Rookie of the Year for the ‘500’ in 2008.

13. Colton Herta. Inside, Row 5 (232.316 mph)

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Colton Herta may have a faster qualifying average than the two drivers listed ahead of him on the starting grid. The unfortunate thing is that Herta was not faster than them on Saturday before Pole/Bump Day.

Nevertheless, Herta has been as good as advertised in race trim throughout the month. He posted the fastest overall speed in practice on Fast Friday pushing 235 mph. 

Herta is the son of former IndyCar driver Bryan Herta and has already seen tons of success in his still-young career. Herta has won seven races in what is now seven seasons in the series.

Herta finished 9th in the ‘500’ last year after starting 20th. 

When Herta is not racing he plays drums in a California-based rock band called “The Zibs”.

14. Alex Palou. Middle, Row 5 (232.306 mph)

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Certainly an unfamiliar position for Alex Palou this year starting in the middle of Row 5.

Ever since making his debut in the Indianapolis 500 with Dale Coyne Racing in 2020, Palou has started each of the three ‘500s’ he’s run in inside the top ten.

He was the pole sitter last year and previous pole speed record holder before McLaughlin beat his record by .003 mph. 

Oddly enough, Palou is the fastest Chip Ganassi qualifier this year at 14th. The Ganassi stable had a glaring lack of pace in qualifying trim thanks to power deficits to the Chevy powerplants. 

In race trim there has been no one better this month though. You can expect Palou to be fighting for a win later in the race.

Palou, a native of Spain, has been embroiled in lots of legal troubles in the last few years despite winning two out of the last three NTT IndyCar Series titles.

The current points leader is still in the middle of a lawsuit by Arrow McLaren over accusations of a breach of contract after they say he signed with them at the end of 2021.

15. Callum Ilott. Outside, Row 5 (232.230 mph)

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Callum Ilott has been a pleasant surprise this May, considering he didn’t even know he would have a ride for the Indianapolis 500 until a couple weeks ago.

Ilott was brought in at the beginning of the season by Arrow McLaren to sub for the injured David Malukas. The No. 6-car will be piloted by Theo Pourchaire from June onward, but for now, the car belongs to Ilott as Malukas was released by Arrow McLaren in late April.

Ilott, a native of Cambridge, England, has qualified a respectable 15th for this year’s race. He’s made two starts in the ‘500’ prior to this year with Juncos Hollinger Racing.

Before his time in IndyCar Ilott competed in the Formula Two World Championship as a Ferrari Academy driver. This year he is competing full-time for the JotaSport sportscar team in the World Endurance Championship.

16. Marcus Armstrong. Inside, Row 6 (232.183 mph)

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Marcus Armstrong is the fastest of the three Indy 500 rookie drivers within the Chip Ganassi garage. 

Armstrong is not a rookie to the NTT IndyCar Series though as he ran a road/street course program last year and still managed to finish the season as the Rookie of the Year despite missing the five oval races. In those 12 starts last season he netted five top-ten results.

He is on a truly full-time schedule now with CGR.

A native of Chirstchurch, New Zealand, Armstrong is one of three Kiwi drivers in this year’s race (Dixon and McLaughlin).

Prior to IndyCar, he spent three seasons among the Formula 2 ranks in Europe. He moved to Europe at age 15 and won the 2017 Italian F4 championship.

17. Ed Carpenter. Middle, Row 6 (232.017 mph)

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We are used to seeing Ed Carpenter competing for the pole year in and year out. The namesake of the Ed Carpenter Racing team has started on the pole three times in his career at the Indy 500, the front row five times, and in the top ten nine times.

This year will be Carpenter’s 21st career start and has yet to add the Indianapolis 500 to his resume. In those 21 starts, Carpenter has turned 3,591 laps and led 146 of them during the race.

Carpenter, one of two Hoosier drivers in the field, took over the racing team left to him by his stepfather Tony George in 2012. After competing full-time in the years that followed his taking control of the racing team, Carpenter has since settled into an oval-only role at ECR.

He has three career victories in the NTT IndyCar Series, the last of which came in 2014 at Texas. This year’s Indy 500 will be his 202nd career start in IndyCar competition dating back to 2003.

18. Kyffin Simpson. Outside, Row 6 (231.948 mph)

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Though having spent many years living in the United States, Kyffin Simpson, a rookie, is actually a native of the Cayman Islands. He’s the first IndyCar driver ever to claim citizenship of the Cayman Islands.

Simpson is at the top rung of North American open-wheel racing this year graduating after two seasons racing in Indy NXT as a Chip Ganassi Racing development driver.

Simpson cut his teeth in professional racing as a sports car driver in IMSA and the World Endurance Championship before taking on Indy NXT.

He also won the Formula Regional Americas championship in 2021.

19. Marco Andretti. Inside, Row 7 (231.890 mph)

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Marco Andretti is back again for his 19th career start in the Indianapolis 500. The grandson of 1969 Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti is also back with his father Michael’s team, Andretti Global.

However, this time Marco Andretti is partially paying his own way and a team owner. 

Andretti is racing under the official team monacre “Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian.”

The Indy 500, like his father before him, as not been historically kind to him. Andretti has finished in the top three four times and in the top ten eight times in his 18 prior starts, but has never been able to get across the yard of bricks first.

You may recall he nearly won the race his rookie year in 2006 before getting passed out of the final turn by Sam Hornish, Jr.

Andretti won two IndyCar races in his career up until his final full-time season in 2020.

20. Helio Castroneves. Middle, Row 7 (231.871 mph)

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The outgoing native of Sao Paulo, Brazil is now 49-years-old, making him older than when Al Unser, Sr. won his last Indianapolis 500 in 1987.

AJ Foyt still holds the record for being the oldest starter in the race at 57-years-old. 

Nevertheless, age has proven to only be a formality for Castroneves who won his fourth Indianapolis 500 in 2021 with Meyer Shank Racing. He’s now a partial owner of the team and is leaving the front office for the month to get back in the cockpit.

Though lacking qualifying pace, Castroneves is a sleeper favorite amongst bettors to climb through the field and complete his “Drive For Five.” Before practice this week he was listed as a +4000 favorite to win the race on DraftKings. Now he is listed well below +2500.

Castroneves started 20th last year, which is where he starts again this year, and finished 15th.

21. Scott Dixon. Outside, Row 7 (230.027 mph)

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Scott Dixon won the Indianapolis 500 back in 2008. He has not won the race since, but it is one of 57 wins in his storied IndyCar career along with six series championships.

Dixon has been a contender many times since his win 18 years ago, having won the pole two years ago in what was then a new pole speed record.

Each of his 21 career starts in the ‘500’ have been with his long-time team Chip Ganassi Racing. He is also another Kiwi hailing from Auckland, New Zealand.

Dixon was plagued by a lack of pace amongst the Ganassi Hondas this year. 

As he rolls off 21st on Sunday, it will be his worst starting position in the 500 ever.

22. Agustin Canapino. Inside, Row 8 (231.847 mph)

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Agustin Canapino is a unique story. He is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and is a legend of touring car racing in his homeland. He won four Turismo Carretera titles.

He was recruited by the upstart Juncos Hollinger Racing to come to North America and apply his talents to open-wheel racing.

It has been a challenge, of course, but Canapino has grown and improved from one season to the next. Earlier this year he netted his first top ten finish.

He did not make it the full distance in his rookie year at IMS. He crashed out with 8 laps left in the race. But, his Juncos Chevy has raw pace, despite the plenum event that cost him a Fast 12 qualifying run.

23. Sting Ray Robb. Middle, Row 8 (231.826 mph)

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Sting Ray Robb had a stressful Month of May last year in his rookie season at Dale Coyne Racing. He was one of the four drivers in Last Chance Qualifying but was able to make the field.

It was a much smoother process for the Idaho native this time around. Granted, he qualified back in the field, but Robb has shown a noticeable amount of improvement in his transition to AJ Foyt Racing.

Working with his veteran, but young, teammate Santino Ferrucci, Robb says he’s learned tons about how to race more aggressively, while also picking his battles more wisely.

Robb will make his second career start in the ‘500’ this year after crashing out of the race 90 laps in 2023. He said he knows better how to attack IMS, and he plans to use it to move through the field with a powerful Chevy powerplant.

24. Christian Rasmussen. Outside, Row 8 (231.682 mph)

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Danish drivers have been a rarety at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but this year there are two of them. Christian Rasmussen is one of them and brings his own unique skill set to the Indy 500.

Born in Copenhagen, Rasmussen got his start driving in Danish karting and eventually found himself in the IndyCar feeder system after winning five races and finishing third in the U.S. F4 Championship for Jay Howard Driver Development.

Winning USF 2000 title with Jay Howard he made the paces in Indy NXT and IMSA Sportscars before signing with Ed Carpenter Racing.

Rasmussen has quietly gain experience as a rookie this year and will look to gain even more on raceday.

25. Tom Blomqvist. Inside, Row 9 (231.578 mph)

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Tom Blomqvist and Kyle Larson have a lot in common, believe it or not. Both have a diverse racing pedigree behind them coming into the weekend.

For Blomqvist, the second driver in the field from Cambridge, England, he had open-wheel experience prior to coming to IndyCar. He was a competitor for Andretti Global’s Formula E team for a season before winning a Rolex 24, competing in Le Mans, and running full-time for Meyer Shank in IMSA WeatherTech Sportscars. 

Blomqvist was brought in last year for a couple of races to fill in for the injured Simon Pagenaud at MSR. Now, Blomqvist tackles his first-ever oval race in the Indy 500.

The son of Swedish World Rally champion Stig Blomqvist in New Zealand, he also holds New Zealand and Swedish citizenship.

26. Romain Grosjean. Middle, Row 9 (231.514 mph)

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First off, his name is pronounced ROW-mah GROW-shjon. He’s a Swiss-born driver who claims French citizenship.

He’s now in his fourth season in the NTT IndyCar Series, but is about to make his 3rd start in the Indianapolis 500.

Now with his new team in Junco Hollinger Racing after his contract was not renewed at Andretti, the former Haas F1 driver has shown he can compete in the series.

However, that has not translated into success at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has started 9th and 10th in his last two starts but has finished 31st and 30th respectively having never gone the full 200 laps.

He hopes to change that this year.

27. Linus Lundqvist. Outside, Row 9 (231.506 mph)

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Linus Lundqvist is probably two years overdue for this to be his first start in the Indianapolis 500.

Having won the 2021 Indy NXT Series title, he was likely the driver in waiting to get a competitive ride in the next rung up the ladder. It didn;t materialize and took most of last year off buying his time.

He got his initial shots with Meyer Shank a year ago filling in for Simon Pagenaud for a couple races.

It has all finally paid off for him as he is now full-time with Chip Ganassi Racing. 

28. Christian Lundgaard. Inside, Row 10 (231.465 mph)

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Christian Lundgaard is the other Danish driver in the field this year. He’s been competitive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the past… on the road course.

He was the runner-up in the Sonsio Grand Prix two weeks ago.

The good news for Lundgaard is that at 28th, this is his best starting spot out of his two other Indy 500 starts (31st in 2022 and 30th in 2023). Both times though he was able to move up the field into a Top 20 finish.

If trends mean anything, he could be looking at a Top 15 finish if he plays his cards right.

Lundgaard is another carryover from Europe in the Formula 2 series looking for success in top-level open-wheel racing. He got a glimpse of it by winning at Toronto last year.

29. Conor Daly. Middle, Row 10 (231.243 mph)

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The fan favorite from Noblesville is back again to try and break through the rest of the field like he always does.

Daly, in a one-off ride this year with Dreyer & Reinbold and Cusick Motorsports coming along for the ride, has led many laps here at IMS, 47 to be exact, but has never been able to get across the line first.

This year will be his 11th start in the ‘500’, 29th will be the worst starting position he’s had since starting last in 2018.

Daly, the son of former IndyCar racer Derek Daly, has said he’s been “itching” to get back in the car after parting ways with Ed Carpenter Racing last year. He always has confidence as he has finished at least six spots or better in each of his last three starts in the race.

30. Pietro Fittipaldi. Outside, Row 10 (231.100 mph)

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It can be hard being the grandson of a great Indianapolis 500 driver, but Pietro Fittipaldi has carved out his own path back to the NTT IndyCar Series.

Fittipaldi is now in his late-20 having a smattering of IndyCar starts under his belt, 13 now to be exact, but this is his first full-time season in the series with Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing.

Two-time Indy 500 and former F1 World Champion Emerson Fittiapaldi is his grandfather.

But, younger Fittipaldi has cut his teeth in Super Formula in Japan, sportscars in the World Endurance Championship, and even acting as the reserve driver for the Haas F1 team.

Now firmly in the NTT IndyCar Series, Fittipaldi is hoping to make good on his namesake.

His only other start in the ‘500’ came back in 2021 where he finished a lap down in 25th after starting 13th.

31. Katherine Legge. Inside, Row 11. (230.092 mph)

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Katherine Legge did not have the return to the Indianapolis 500 that she wanted a year ago. She was caught up in RLL’s dreadful lack of speed despite being the only RLL car to make the field on the first day of qualifying.

She was forced to retire her car from the race after just 41 laps due to engine issues last year.

Back for another try at the ‘500’, Legge is now in the Dale Coyne stable and has continued to be plagued by a lack of pace. She and teammate Nolan Siegel found themselves in Last Chance Qualifying on Sunday. Legge only had to make one run as the fastest of the four, but here teammate Siegel could not find speed after crashing in practice.

He was bumped from the field.

Legge, a native of Guilford, England, is the only woman in this year’s Indy 500 field. Last year she set the fastest qualifying speed ever by a female driver.

This will be her fourth-ever start finishing a best 22nd in her rookie year back in 2012. She has never started higher than 29th (2023).

32. Marcus Ericsson. Middle, Row 11. (230.027 mph)

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It has been the month from Hell for Marcus Ericsson, the 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner.

His month started strong running well in race trim in practice, but a crash on Thursday completely totaled his primary car, and was forced to bring out a backup car.

The backup struggled to match the speed of his primary and it meant for a stressful two days of qualifying for Ericsson. After a Last Chance run in which he miscounted his laps, he was forced to take a second run with a hot engine. Luckily it paid off and he was able to get it in the show.

Ericsson will always be known as the first Swedish driver to win the Indy 500. Now he hopes to make it two, but the odds are against him as no driver has ever won from the back row.

33. Graham Rahal. Outside, Row 11 (229.974 mph)

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What is it about Graham Rahal? Once again he and his crew struggled to find speed in his United Rentals Honda. 

Rahal was bumped from the field last year but ended up starting the race after Stefan Wilson broke his back in a practice crash. Rahal subbed in for him at Dreyer & Reinbold. 

This year Rahal had to deal with the stress of trying to make the field again in Last Chance Qualifying. This time he was able to make the show with RLL.

Rahal is now the first driver since George Cheeseburgh in the mid-60s to start back-to-back Indy 500s dead last. 

The son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Graham boasts six wins in his IndyCar career, the last coming back in 2018 at Belle Isle. This will be Rahal’s 17th start in the Indy 500 with his best finish being 3rd twice.