INDIANAPOLIS – Everyone loves a good Cinderella story right? Well, while some drivers have stood out as clear favorites to win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network) others have moved forward as sleepers who could win too.
Here are a list of five sleepers to watch in Sunday’s race.
His team Harding Racing showed up for their very first Verizon IndyCar Series race in last year’s Indy 500. Chaves, started 25th for them and drove all the way up to a ninth place run. In their second race, another superspeedway a few weeks later, Chaves came home fifth.
As you can see, they’re very good on superspeedways.
Chaves, will start 22nd for Sunday’s race and has a realistic shot of finishing well again. He goes a great job of finishing races. He was running at the end of 30 of his 31 career INDYCAR starts. Plus, in practice this month at Indy, Chaves was 11th, eighth, seventh, 10th, 20th and 25th respectively in race practice.
Watch out for his No. 88 Chevrolet this weekend.
Looking for another sleeper? Look no further than Kimball. Indy has always been one of his better tracks. In the GP, he has three fifth place finishes in five tries. In the ‘500, he has four top 10 finishes in seven career starts. In fact, he has two top five finishes in the last three years.
Kimball, has a good car on race trim this year and was in the top 10 in practice twice last week and fourth on Monday and fifth on Carb Day. He qualified 15th too. I look for him to contend in the closing stages on Sunday.
He’s quick. He’s bold. He’s everything that you need in a potential race winner. Leist, has quietly been strong all month as he qualified his No. 4 Chevrolet 11th. He will start next to his teammate and mentor Tony Kanaan, so it’s a safe bet that he will follow him for much of the day. Plus, it’s not like Leist doesn’t know if way around the famed 2.5-mile oval. He won last year’s Freedom 100.
It’s been a quiet yet great month of action this year for Karam. While he may be starting 24th, his car on race trim has been superb. He was fastest in practice on Monday and was in the top 12 in every practice session where race trim was run.
He’s been good in the past and has a car to win on Sunday.
Here’s another one that’s flying under the radar. Andretti is always good at Indy but the bad luck bug worked its way from his grandpa to his dad and now to him. This could be the year that the bug finally is hexed. Andretti, is very happy with his race car. He told me as much. He was in the top five in all four race practices last week and even led the way on Fast Friday too. He was P8 on Monday and third on Friday.
He had a problem with his setup in qualifying on Saturday, which kept him from the Fast Nine. They found it and he earned a Row 4 starting spot, best among all six Andretti cars.
I just have a feeling that this is Andretti’s year. Plus, his organization has won three of the last four ‘500’s.