INDIANAPOLIS – Heading into Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network) the easy group of favorites to pick would be the Andretti Autosport. Over the last several years, they’ve been bar none the top Verizon IndyCar Series team to beat in the prestigious race. This weekend, Andretti will look to win their fourth Indy 500 in the last five years.
Ryan Hunter-Reay got it all started when he narrowly beat Helio Castroneves in 2014. Alexander Rossi clutch and coasted to a win in the 100th Running of the race in 2016. Last year, Sato barely topped Castroneves for Andretti’s third triumph in a span of four years. Overall, they’ve won five ‘500’s, Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti in 2005 and 2007 were the other two respectively. This year, six drivers will try to extend that dominant streak.
But, one thing going against them this year compared to the past is there’s a new universal aerokit. Gone is Honda’s past advantage. Over the last two years, Honda has led 78-percent of the overall laps in the Indy 500. They’ve led 310 out of the 400 possible laps in the big race. Andretti, has been the biggest one to capitalize on that.
Now, it’s Chevy’s turn as nine of the top 11 starters on Sunday are Chevrolet drivers. The top Andretti driver is Marco Andretti in 12th. But, he says that he’s extremely happy with his car and has one that can win this race it’s that good.
Hunter-Reay, well he stars 14th and he too is somewhat happy with his race pace. He started 19th when he won in 2014. so being five spots closer is no big deal.
Munoz rolls off 21st and he too is dealing with a pretty good race car. Wilson, Veach and Rossi will start 23rd, 25th and 32nd respectively. Among that group, watch out for Rossi. His car is better than that.