IndyCar: Indianapolis 500 Predictions and How to Watch

The start of the 106th Indianapolis 500. (Sean Birkle/Penske Entertainment)

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis, and that can only mean one thing. The 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is here.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou ran away with the win in the GMR Grand Prix earlier this month and sped to a record-setting pole position for the 500 last weekend. Joining the Spaniard on the front row are Rinus VeeKay and Felix Rosenqvist, with the latter making his Indy 500 front row debut for Arrow McLaren.

But qualifying on the front row may not be the most important thing entering Sunday’s race. The last two winners of the 500, Marcus Ericsson and Helio Castroneves, came from the second and third rows respectively. Speaking of past winners, nine of them are in this year’s field, from Takuma Sato all the way to Alexander Rossi. A total of four rookie drivers are also on the entry list, with A.J. Foyt Racing’s Benjamin Pedersen rolling off in 11th, with Agustin Canapino, R.C. Enerson, and Sting Ray Robb hanging in the back.

Let’s not forget the one thing about this weekend that may be a bigger deal than the race itself: the fans. WISH-TV Indianapolis’ Anthony Calhoun reported on Tuesday that Indianapolis Motor Speedway is expecting over 325,000 fans to be at the track on race day.

The Track


Indianapolis Motor Speedway was constructed by Carl G. Fisher in 1909. The first Indianapolis 500 was held in 1911, and the rest, they say, was history. Over the years, IMS has built a legacy so strong that it is now known as “The Racing Capital of the World”, making motorsports synonymous with the city of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana. Besides the 500, IMS has hosted NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix, and many other racing and non-racing events over the years.

A lap around Indianapolis starts at the “Yard of Bricks”, the only bricks left on the 2.5-mile track that was once covered entirely by them. After that, it’s a hard left turn into Turn 1, known as one of the most daunting in all of motorsports due to its narrow width relatively shallow banking, and the massive grandstands that seem to lay directly on top of the track.

Drivers then speed through the first of the 0.125-mile “short chutes” before turning into Turn 2, which is banked at nine degrees. The 0.625-mile long back stretch allows drivers to reach speeds of up to 240 mph and is the sight of many overtakes before Turn 3 turns drivers toward another short chute.

Turn 4 whips drivers back around to the front stretch, with hundreds of thousands of fans lining both sides of the track as drivers pass over the Yard of Bricks to complete a lap at Indianapolis.

Sunday’s race will consist of 200 laps, spanning 500 miles.

Championship Standings

After his nearly 17-second victory on the Indianapolis Road Course, 2021 series champion Palou is back in charge of the championship standings.

  1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing – 174 points
  2. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren – 168 points
  3. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing – 155 points
  4. Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport – 134 points
  5. Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske – 133 points

Race Predictions – Indianapolis 500

It may be the obvious pick, but I think it is time for Alex Palou to win his first 500. Just like last year, Pato O’Ward will come up just short, followed by Santino Ferrucci

  1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing
  2. Pato O’Ward, Arrow Mclaren
  3. Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Racing

How to Watch (All Times in EST)

  • Final Practice: Friday, 5/26 – 11:00 a.m. on Peacock
  • Pit Stop Competition: Friday, 5/26 – 2:30 p.m. on Peacock
  • 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500: Sunday, 5/28 – 11:00 a.m on NBC (200 laps, green flag at 12:45)

All IndyCar sessions are covered live by IndyCar Radio, which can be found on the official IndyCar mobile app or on SiriusXM Channel 160.

For a list of international broadcasters, click here.

Featured Image Credit: Sean Birkle/Penske Entertainment