Starting lineup for the 104th Indy 500


The 33-driver field of the 104th Indy 500 will take the green flag Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a competitive starting lineup that ranks with among the best in its history.

Eight drivers are previous Indy 500 winners led by Helio Castroneves with three victories (2001, ’02 and ’09). Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (’13), Ryan Hunter-Reay (’14), Alexander Rossi (’16), Takuma Sato (’17), Will Power (’18) and Simon Pagenaud (’19) also have their faces etched on the Borg-Warner Trophy.

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso also is making his second start in the Brickyard, trying to join Graham Hill as only the second driver to win the “Triple Crown” of the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix.

THE 104TH INDY 500How to watch Sunday’s race on NBC

In addition to the eight Indy 500 winners, there are eight drivers who have victories in the NTT IndyCar Series: Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, James Hinchcliffe, Colton Herta, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal and Felix Rosenqvist.

There are also six past IndyCar champions: Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan, Newgarden, Pagenaud and Power.

Here is the Indy 500 starting lineup by row for Sunday’s race (1 p.m. ET on NBC, 2:30 p.m. green flag):


  1. Marco Andretti (Nazareth, Pennsylvania), No. 98 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda, 231.068 mph: First member of famed racing family on Indy 500 pole since 1987; nearly won in 2006 but lose lead off final corner
  2. Scott Dixon (Auckland, New Zealand), No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda, 231.051: The five-time IndyCar series champion spun in practice after qualifying but avoided significant damage
  3. Takuma Sato (Tokyo, Japan), No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda, 230.725: The 2017 Indy 500 winner finished third last year and crashed while trying to take the lead late in the 2012 race


  1. Rinus VeeKay (Hoofddorp, Netherlands), No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet, 230.704: Rookie and lone teenager (19) in field was the only Chevrolet driver to crack the Fast Nine in qualifying
  2. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) No. 28 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda, 230.648: In his 14th start, the 2012 IndyCar champion is seeking his first Indy 500 podium since a thrilling victory in 2014
  3. James Hinchcliffe (Toronto, Canada), No. 29 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda, 229.234: Making his third and final scheduled start this season but hoping to add races while also working for IndyCar on NBC this year


  1. Alex Palou (Barcelona, Spain), No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Dallara-Honda, 229.676: Rookie never raced an oval until the June 6 season opener at Texas but has acquitted himself quite well
  2. Graham Rahal (New Albany, Ohio), No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda, 229.380: The son of 1986 winner Bobby Rahal drives for his father and is making his 13th Indy 500 start
  3. Alexander Rossi (Nevada City, California), No. 28 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda, 229.234: Since winning 100th Indy 500 as a 2016 rookie, has finished seventh, fourth and second in race


  1. Colton Herta (Belleair, Florida), No. 88 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda, 230.775: Two-time winner as a 2019 rookie but was finished last in Indy 500 because of mechanical problems
  2. Marcus Ericsson (Kumla, Sweden), No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda, 230.566: Formula One veteran joined Ganassi for his second full season in the NTT IndyCar Series
  3. Spencer Pigot (Orlando, Florida), No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda, 230.539: Running partial schedule after two full-time seasons with Ed Carpenter Racing


  1. Josef Newgarden (Nashville, Tennessee), No. 1 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet, 230.296: Defending and two-time series champion is the only current Penske driver without an Indy 500 victory
  2. Felix Rosenqvist (Varnamo, Sweden), No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda, 230.254: The 2019 IndyCar rookie of the year became a first-time NTT Series winner last month at Road America
  3. Pato O’Ward (Monterrey, Mexico), No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet, 230.213: After failing to qualify last year at Indy, he’s enjoyed breakout IndyCar season, nearly winning at Road America


  1. Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis), No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet, 230.211: Three-time Indy 500 pole-sitter is a member of the Hulman-George family that owned Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 74 years
  2. Zach Veach (Stockdale, Ohio), No. 26 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda, 229.961: An avid camper and hiker,  he has been building a custom van that he plans to live out of full time
  3. Conor Daly (Noblesville, Indiana), No. 47 Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.955: Teamed with former NASCAR championship crew chief Cole Pearn, who is making a one-off IndyCar debut


  1. Santino Ferrucci (Woodbury, Connecticut), No. 18 DCR with Vasser Sullivan Dallara-Honda, 229.924: Finished seventh as top rookie in 2019 Indy 500; traveling country by driving between all races this season
  2. Jack Harvey (Bassingham, England), No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Dallara-Honda, 229.861: First full IndyCar season for team, which has a technical alliance with Andretti Autosport
  3. Oliver Askew (Jupiter, Florida), No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.760: Last year’s Indy Lights and Freedom 100 champion has shown flashes (third at Iowa) as an IndyCar rookie


  1. Will Power (Toowoomba, Australia), No. 12 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.701: The 2018 winner was blunt about lack of speed in qualifying but feels Chevys can compete in race setup
  2. Tony Kanaan (Salvador, Brazil), No. 4 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.154: Though this was branded his ‘Last Lap’ season, 2013 winner has vowed to return to race the Brickyard next year
  3. Dalton Kellett (Stouffville, Canada), No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.880: Indy 500 rookie and part-time driver for Foyt is an advocate for STEM education


  1. Simon Pagenaud (Montmorillon, France) No. 22 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.836 mph: After a career-saving victory sweep at Indy last year, he earned a new contract that goes beyond this season
  2. Fernando Alonso (Oviedo, Spain), No. 66 Arrow McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.768 mph: Two-time F1 champion says it’s his last chance for at least two years to win Indy and complete Triple Crown
  3. James Davison (Melbourne, Australia), No. 51 DCR/RWR Dallara-Honda, 228.747 mph: Sixth Indy 500 start is part of a multiseries deal to run three Cup races with Rick Ware Racing

ROW 10

  1. Helio Castroneves (Sao Paulo, Brazil), No. 3 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.373 mph: The 20th and perhaps final start with Penske for the three-time Indy 500 winner, who is seeking a new full-time ride
  2. Charlie Kimball (Camarillo, California) No. 4 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.758 mph: Returned to a full-time schedule this season in the NTT IndyCar Series
  3. Max Chilton (Reigate, England), No. 59 Carlin Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.303 mph: Only oval start of the season who runs road and street courses for the team

ROW 11

  1. Sage Karam (Nazareth, Pennsylvania), No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet, 227.099 mph: Won the first iRacing Indy Challenge race at virtual Watkins Glen International in April
  2. J.R. Hildebrand (Susalito, California), No. 67 Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara-Chevrolet, 226.341 mph: His 10th start but still remembered most for the first in 2011 when he crashed leading off Turn 4
  3. Ben Hanley (Manchester, England), No. 81 DragonSpeed Dallara-Chevrolet, 222.917 mph: Entry was confirmed Aug. 8, and team has scrambled to find speed for Hanley’s second start

‘It’s gnarly, bro’: IndyCar drivers face new challenge on streets of downtown Detroit

IndyCar Detroit downtown
James Black/Penske Entertainment

DETROIT – It was the 1968 motion picture, “Winning” when actress Joanne Woodward asked Paul Newman if he were going to Milwaukee in the days after he won the Indianapolis 500 as driver Frank Capua.

“Everybody goes to Milwaukee after Indianapolis,” Newman responded near the end of the film.

Milwaukee was a mainstay as the race on the weekend after the Indianapolis 500 for decades, but since 2012, the first race after the Indy 500 has been Detroit at Belle Isle Park.

This year, there is a twist.

Instead of IndyCar racing at the Belle Isle State Park, it’s the streets of downtown Detroit on a race course that is quite reminiscent of the old Formula One and CART race course that was used from 1982 to 1991.

Formula One competed in the United States Grand Prix from 1982 to 1988. Beginning in 1989, CART took over the famed street race through 1991. In 1992, the race was moved to Belle Isle, where it was held through last year (with a 2009-2011 hiatus after the Great Recession).

The Penske Corp. is the promoter of this race, and they did a lot of good at Belle Isle, including saving the Scott Fountain, modernizing the Belle Isle Casino, and basically cleaning up the park for Detroit citizens to enjoy.

The race, however, had outgrown the venue. Roger Penske had big ideas to create an even bigger event and moving it back to downtown Detroit benefitted race sponsor Chevrolet. The footprint of the race course goes around General Motors world headquarters in the GM Renaissance Center – the centerpiece building of Detroit’s modernized skyline.

INDYCAR IN DETROITEntry list, schedule, TV info for this weekend

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Motor City is about to roar with the sound of Chevrolet and Honda engines this weekend as the NTT IndyCar Series is the featured race on the nine-turn, 1.7-mile temporary street course.

It’s perhaps the most unique street course on the IndyCar schedule because of the bumps on the streets and the only split pit lane in the series.

The pit lanes has stalls on opposing sides and four lanes across an unusual rectangular pit area (but still only one entry and exit).

Combine that, with the bumps and the NTT IndyCar Series drivers look forward to a wild ride in Motor City.

“It’s gnarly, bro,” Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward said before posting the fastest time in Friday’s first practice. “It will be very interesting because the closest thing that I can see it being like is Toronto-like surfaces with more of a Long Beach-esque layout.

“There’s less room for error than Long Beach. There’s no curbs. You’ve got walls. I think very unique to this place.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Speeds from the first session

“Then it’s a bit of Nashville built into it. The braking zones look really very bumpy. Certain pavements don’t look bumpy but with how the asphalt and concrete is laid out, there’s undulation with it. So, you can imagine the cars are going to be smashing on every single undulation because we’re going to go through those sections fairly fast, and obviously the cars are pretty low. I don’t know.

“It looks fun, man. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. It’s going to be learning through every single session, not just for drivers and teams but for race control. For everyone.

“Everybody has to go into it knowing not every call is going to be smooth. It’s a tall task to ask from such a demanding racetrack. I think it’ll ask a lot from the race cars as well.”

The track is bumpy, but O’Ward indicated he would be surprised if it is bumper than Nashville. By comparison to Toronto, driving at slow speed is quite smooth, but fast speed is very bumpy.

“This is a mix of Nashville high-speed characteristics and Toronto slow speed in significant areas,” O’Ward said. “I think it’ll be a mix of a lot of street courses we go to, and the layout looks like more space than Nashville, which is really tight from Turn 4 to 8. It looks to be a bit more spacious as a whole track, but it’ll get tight in multiple areas.”

The concept of having four-wide pit stops is something that excites the 24-year-old driver from Monterey, Mexico.

“I think it’s innovation, bro,” O’Ward said. “If it works out, we’ll look like heroes.

“If it doesn’t, we tried.”

Because of the four lanes on pit road, there is a blend line the drivers will have to adhere to. Otherwise, it would be chaos leaving the pits compared to a normal two-lane pit road.

“If it wasn’t there, there’d be guys fighting for real estate where there’s one car that fits, and there’d be cars crashing in pit lane,” O’Ward said. “I get why they did that. It’s the same for everybody. I don’t think there’s a lot of room to play with. That’s the problem.

“But it looks freaking gnarly for sure. Oh my God, that’s going to be crazy.”

Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing believes the best passing areas will be on the long straights because of the bumps in the turns. That is where much of the action will be in terms of gaining or losing a position in the race.

“It will also be really easy to defend in my opinion,” Palou said. “Being a 180-degree corner, you just have to go on the inside and that’s it. There’s going to be passes for sure but its’ going to be risky.

“Turn 1, if someone dives in, you end up in the wall. They’re not going to be able to pass you on the exit, so maybe with the straight being so long you can actually pass before you end up on the braking zone.”

Palou’s teammate, Marcus Ericsson, was at the Honda simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana, before coming to Detroit and said he was shocked by the amount of bumps on the simulator.

Race promoter Bud Denker, the President of Penske Corporation, and Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix President Michael Montri, sent the track crews onto the streets with grinders to smooth out the bumps on the race course several weeks ago.

“They’ve done a decent amount of work, and even doing the track walk, it looked a lot better than what we expected,” Ericsson said. “I don’t think it’ll be too bad. I hope not. That’ll be something to take into account.

“I think the track layout doesn’t look like the most fun. Maybe not the most challenging. But I love these types of tracks with rules everywhere. It’s a big challenge, and you have to build up to it. That’s the types of tracks that I love to drive. It’s a very much Marcus Ericsson type of track. I like it.”

Scott Dixon, who was second fastest in the opening session, has competed on many new street circuits throughout his legendary racing career. The six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion for Chip Ganassi Racing likes the track layout, even with the unusual pit lane.

I don’t think that’s going to be something that catches on where every track becomes a double barrel,” Dixon said. “It’s new and interesting.

“As far as pit exit, I think Toronto exit is worse with how the wall sticks out. I think in both lanes, you’ve got enough lead time to make it and most guys will make a good decision.”

It wasn’t until shortly after 3 p.m. ET on Friday that the IndyCar drivers began the extended 90-minute practice session to try out the race course for the first time in real life.

As expected, there were several sketchy moments, but no major crashes during the first session despite 19 local yellow flags for incidents and two red flags.

Rookie Agustin Canapino had to cut his practice short after some damage to his No. 78 Dallara-Chevrolet, but he was among many who emerged mostly unscathed from scrapes with the wall.

“It was honestly less carnage than I expected,” said Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood, who was third fastest in the practice after coming off his first career IndyCar victory in the most recent street race at Long Beach in April. “I think a lot of people went off in the runoffs, but no one actually hit the wall (too hard), which actually surprised me. Hats off to them for keeping it clean, including myself.

“It was quite a bit less grip than I think everyone expected. Maybe a little bit more bumpy down into Turn 3 than everyone expected. But overall they did a good job between the two manufacturers. I’m sure everyone had pretty much the same we were able to base everything off of. We felt pretty close to maximum right away.”

Most of the preparation for this event was done either on the General Motors Simulator in Huntersville, North Carolina, or the Honda Performance Development simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana.

“Now, we have simulators that can scan the track, so we have done plenty of laps already,” Power told NBC Sports. “They have ground and resurfaced a lot of the track, so it should be smoother.

“But nothing beats real-world experience. It’s going to be a learning experience in the first session.”

As a Team Penske driver, Power and his teammates were consulted about the progress and layout of the Detroit street course. They were shown what was possible with the streets that were available.

“We gave some input back after we were on the similar what might be ground and things like that,” Power said.

Racing on the streets of Belle Isle was a fairly pleasant experience for the fans and corporate sponsor that compete in the race.

But the vibe at the new location gives this a “big event” feel.

“The atmosphere is a lot better,” Power said. “The location, the accessibility for the fans, the crowd that will be here, it’s much easier. I think it will be a much better event.

“It feels like a Long Beach, only in a much bigger city. That is what street course racing is all about.”

Because the track promoter is also the team owner, Power and teammates Scott McLaughlin and Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden will have a very busy weekend on the track, and with sponsor and personal appearances.

“That’s what pays the bills and allows us to do this,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500