8 things to watch for at the 2022 Indianapolis 500 – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather

8 things to watch for at the 2022 Indianapolis 500 – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather

0 View

Publish Date:
26 May, 2022
Video License
Standard License
Imported From:

8 things to watch for at the 2022 Indianapolis 500 - WISH-TV |  Indianapolis News |  Indiana Weather

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is knocking at our door.

Here’s eight things to watch for.

Helio’s ‘drive for five’

Can Helio Castroneves become the first member of the five-timers club?

Castroneves took the checkered flag in 2021, putting him alongside AJ Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr. as the only drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 on four occasions.

Qualifying last weekend didn’t go in his favor; he was 27th-fastest and starts in row nine alongside Colton Herta and Scott McLaughlin.

He’ll have to do some climbing to get another face on the Borg-Warner Trophy.

Last ride for the legendary Brazilians?

Castroneves and fellow Brazilian Tony Kanaan are winding down their legendary careers. Each man is 47 years old.

Canaan has been a part time driver since the 2020 season and previously said 2020 would be his last season. After racing only on oval circuits in 2020 and 2021, Sunday will be his only IndyCar race of the season.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 27: Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan of Brazil pose on the finish line with the Borg-Warner trophy during Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Castroneves had also been a part-timer from 2018-21. This season is his first full IndyCar slate since 2017. He’s not had a great season up to this point and is currently 18th in the IndyCar standings.

However, Al Unser Sr. won the 1987 Indianapolis 500 when he was 47 and Mario Andretti’s last 500 was in 1994 when he was 54.

You never know when your last chance to see a legend will be, so if you want to see them, you might go see them now.

Can Scott Dixon win from pole?

Scott Dixon just took his fifth pole position at the Indianapolis 500 with the fastest ever pole lap.

However, the great qualifying results have not blossomed into Victory Circle appearances. Dixon’s only chance to drink the milk was in 2008.

Since then, he’s finished in the top five on six occasions, including twice as the runner-up.

Another 500 victory would put him in good shape to compete for a seventh IndyCar series championship.

Only AJ Foyt has more series wins at the top level of open-wheel racing in the United States.

First proper race day under Penske

The takeover of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway has not exactly gone to plan for Roger Penske.

The pandemic led to the 2020 Indianapolis 500 to be run without fans in attendance. The 2021 race was capped at 135,000 spectators.

This will be the first opportunity for race fans to see an Indianapolis 500 under “regular” conditions with Penske Entertainment.

Open-wheel racing has a resurgence of popularity in the United States since 2020. Formula 1 and NASCAR will also have high-profile races on Sunday.

Will this event deliver?

High stakes for F1 hopefuls

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 14: From left to right NTT IndyCar series drivers Simon Pagenaud 2nd place finisher and Colton Herta first place finisher and Will Power third place finisher pose on the podium with trophies in the winner’s circle after the GMR Grand Prix on May 14th , 2022, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward have not been bashful about their hopes to eventually join Formula 1. Each have been linked to McLaren’s F1 team, which features rising star Lando Norris and social media favorite Daniel Ricciardo.

Norris is locked into his contract through the 2025 season.

Ricciardo has struggled since joining the team prior to the 2021 season and only has one top-ten finish in 2022. He is eleventh in the driver standings while Norris sits seventh.

Pair the results with recent comments by McLaren boss Zak Brown and you can imagine Herta and O’Ward seeing an opportunity to take Ricciardo’s seat.

The IndyCar youngsters struggled to start the 2022 season, but O’Ward won in Alabama and Herta won at the IMS road course earlier this month.

With double points on the line on Sunday, Herta and O’Ward have a great opportunity to make a jump in the IndyCar standings and put more heat on Ricciardo.

Jimmie Johnson’s best shot?

NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson has struggled since joining IndyCar in 2021.

The seven-time NASCAR champion joined Chip Ganassi Racing on a road/street-only plan last season, never finishing better than 17th for one of IndyCar’s top teams, while Tony Kanaan filled in for him on oval tracks.

Johnson added ovals to his slate for 2022, debuting at Texas Motor Speedway in March. The XPEL 375 in Texas turned into his best day as an IndyCar driver to date, finishing sixth.

His oval success continued into qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, making it into the Fast 12 before a close call put a dent in his efforts.

Johnson won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on four occasions in NASCAR.

Sunday is a tremendous opportunity for Johnson to again state his case as one of the great drivers of his generation.

Can a rookie make his mark?

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 22: Romain Grosjean (28) Andretti Autosport Honda during practice for the NTT IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 on May 22, 2022, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In addition to Jimmie Johnson, several other rookies will look to make their marks at IMS.

F1 veteran Romain Grosjean will make his Indianapolis 500 debut after sitting out during the 2021 season.

“The Phoenix” has brought more international eyeballs to the series, in part due to his exposure on the Netflix series “Drive to Survive.”

Grosjean was the highest qualifying rookie. He’ll start from the third row.

Andretti Autosport teammate Devlin DeFrancesco will join him on Sunday.

2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood had a great run earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway as he led several laps before crashing out.

Callum Ilott of Juncos Hollinger Racing was second in Formula 2 in 2020. He’ll race in first Indy 500 on Sunday. He’ll be joined by former Formula 2 driver Christian Lundgaard of Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing.

Dale Coyne’s David Malukas wants to start in row five.

Will the race be televised live in Indianapolis?

With just days until the green flag, it’s not been announced if the race will be televised live in central Indiana or on tape delay.

It’s also not been made clear if paying Peacock customers in central Indiana will be able to watch the race live in the app or not.

News 8 has reached out to IndyCar officials for clarification but have not heard back.

The race is typically not aired on live television in central Indiana but was shown live in 2020 and 2021.

It was also shown live in 2016 when officials announced a sellout.

Last year, it was announced on the Thursday before the race that the blackout was lifted.

Did you miss our previous article...

Best F1 gifts

Best F1 Gifts! Click for more!

Did you miss our previous article...