Official Indy 500 entry list is out, with your likely field of 33

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The official Indianapolis 500 entry list was released Sunday morning. It’s got 64 total cars, with 33 car/driver combinations – all bar 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier and rookie James Davison have a backup listed.

Lazier is one of six prior winners entered, and one of two from the 1990s with Jacques Villeneuve also on as he prepares for his first ‘500 start since that 1995 win. The other winners? Defending champion Tony Kanaan (2013), his teammate and defending series champion Scott Dixon (2008), and Roger Penske’s pair of Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2000). With Dario Franchitti retired, Castroneves is the lone multiple ‘500 winner entered in this year’s race.

Davison is one of seven rookies entered. The others are full-season shoes Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth and Carlos Huertas, the extra cars at Andretti Autosport (Kurt Busch) and A.J. Foyt Racing (Martin Plowman), and Indy Lights champion Sage Karam in the DRR Kingdom Racing Chevrolet. Andretti’s Carlos Munoz, a series rookie, is obviously not a 500 rookie after his runner-up finish in 2013.

The remaining Indy 500-only, for now, one-offs include the previously announced: Townsend Bell (KVRT), Oriol Servia (RLL, although this is race four for him this season), JR Hildebrand (Ed Carpenter Racing), Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing) and Alex Tagliani (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing).

As for a 34th car and the bumping potential, one driver exists for that role if he or she can strike a deal to add an extra car with an existing team.

Otherwise the 34th driver this year might just be E.J. Viso, who will fill-in as needed for James Hinchcliffe at Andretti’s team. Hinchcliffe was diagnosed with a concussion in yesterday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

OFFICIAL 98TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 ENTRY LIST

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”