Preview – 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race


By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel

The INDYCAR season continues this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the Verizon IndyCar Series 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the Freedom 100. The Open Wheel will be on-site covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.

Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel

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Indy Lights Preview: Freedom 100 (Entry List), Friday, May 25, 2018 12:30PM (ET) NBCSN – The 2017 Freedom 100 was won by last year’s oval master Matheus Leist but plenty of the contenders are back for another year. Aaron Telitz, Dalton Kellett, and Santi Urrutia each finished in the Top 5 last year and figure to be contenders again on Friday. Colton Herta is coming off of a sweep of the two races on the road course at IMS and he hopes to further put last year’s poor IMS luck behind him as he only made it two turns last year before crashing out of the race. Patricio O’Ward hasn’t raced on an oval in Indy Lights but did win at Lucas Oil Raceway in Pro Mazda back in 2016. My pick to win: Dalton Kellett – Kellett was my pick before he won the pole but that certainly solidifies my decision. He’s finished third in each of his previous Freedom 100 attempts, will have a fast car with Andretti Autosport, and I think his hype and experience on ovals will carry him to the biggest win of his racing career on Carb Day.

Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Sunday May 27, 2018 11:00AM (ET) ABC – It’s hard to believe the return of Danica Patrick could be upstaged this weekend, but beyond all the normal fanfare of this race the story of the weekend has to be James Hinchcliffe missing out on the field and the subsequent departure of his race engineer Leena Gade. No one could have seen that coming. Moving on, previous driver experience shows six former Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winners in the field in Helio Castroneves (3), Scott Dixon (1), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1), Tony Kanaan (1), Alexander Rossi (1), and Takuma Sato (1). The active Top 5 in laps led on the IMS road course are Dixon (439), Kanaan (336), Castroneves (305), Hunter-Reay (162), and Andretti (141). Andretti Autosport has won three of the last four 500’s. Looking at the box scores 2017 and 2016, Kanaan is the only driver to finish in the Top 5 in each of the last two years. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, he’s joined by Rossi and Munoz. My pick to win: Will Power – The only thing missing from Will Power’s illustrious Verizon IndyCar Series career is a win an Indy 500 win and I think he does it on Sunday. The Team Penske cars were dominant in practice and he showed he has the speed on his own in qualifying P3. Power has only two Top 5’s in ten 500 appearances but he’s always made himself a factor at some point in the race. Coming off a dominant showing at the INDYCAR Grand Prix, I think the Australian makes it a sweep of the month’s events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Will Power, Ed Carpenter, Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Jones, Tony Kanaan, Sage Karam, Matheus Leist

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