It’s the greatest weekend of the year, race fans! NASCAR is in Charlotte for 600 miles of action, F1 has invaded the streets of Monaco, and the Greatest Spectacle of Racing is sure to be an exciting one in Speedway, Indiana on the corner of 16th and Georgetown.
If you’ve taken a look at the Fantasy IndyCar Lineup options, you’ve probably noticed this week is a little different. Players will get $500 to spend on ten picks. That’s right, ten picks!
So, my article this week is going to be a little different as well. It is Indy, after all. I’m going to list off all ten of my picks with a little reasoning as to why I feel they could be drinking milk this weekend.
When one thinks of the name Andretti at Indy, they think of the curse. I don’t buy in to that. Marco has always been strong at the Speedway, coming within a few hundred yards of winning his first 500 in 2006. He’s been strong all season, consistently finishing in the top ten. I think this could be Marco’s year to get the job done at the Speedway.
Seb has showed he hasn’t missed a beat after missing the race last year due to his horrific incident during qualifying. 500 miles is a long race, and experience can play a large part in putting yourself in a position to win at the end. He’s considered one of the best open wheel drivers in North America, it would be fitting to see him add an Indy 500 win to those impressive career accolades.
Third time’s a charm, right? Ed Carpenter and the state of Indiana are hoping so. The hometown boy will lead the field of 33 to the green flag Sunday for the third time in his career. The ECR team is strong this year, placing all three cars in the Fast Nine. Look for Ed to be in the hunt around lap 200 on Sunday.
The Drive for Four is in full effect, with Helio qualifying in the first three rows for his second of two races he is set to have this year in the series. Chevy looks strong, and Helio knows how to get the job done. Will we have a new member of the Four Winner’s Club? There’s a good chance.
Zachary Claman DeMelo
There’s something about longshot stories at Indy that really excite me. ZCD is that story for this year. Zach didn’t know that he would be in the race until a few days before practice, picked to fill in for injured teammate Pietro Fittipaldi. He has constantly improved throughout the month and put in a qualifying run that would make some series veterans blush.
Sunday will certainly be a whole different animal to tame for the young Canadian, but sometimes not knowing what to expect can work out in your favor.
It’s hard to believe Scott Dixon has only one Borg Warner trophy. Considered by many to be the best driver of his generation, Dixon has come close many times, but hasn’t sipped the milk since 2008. It would be a great start to his championship campaign to get a second 500 win this weekend.
He’s back for his fifth 500 and hungrier than ever. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has brought out the big guns this year, fielding two cars for Karam and fellow American J.R. Hildebrand. Both, along with the team, want to be full time and have showed strong pace this year. I’m expecting to see Karam at the front of the field on Sunday.
He’s won at Indy before, dominating the Freedom 100 Indy Lights event last year. Driving for one of the most famous names at the Speedway in AJ Foyt, Leist will be eager to make a strong impression in his first 500.
He’s not a full-time driver this year, but he’s always been fast at the 500. Carlos will surely want to prove he deserves to be in the series as a full-time driver, and competing with the team he finished second with here in 2016. Look for the fast Colombian to be towards the front.
He’s got the number 1 on his car, and he’s hoping to be number one on Sunday. Newgarden has come very close, and with Penske and Chevy both proving to be a dominant force this month, you can count on JoNew to be a factor come Sunday.
So, there they are. My picks for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Copy them, ridicule them, that’s up to you. More importantly, race fans, enjoy this fantastic weekend that only comes once a year.
It is May in Indianapolis, after all.
Image courtesy of Walter Kuhn/INDYCAR Media.