By Doug Halberstadt
Thirty three drivers are set to test their physical and mental endurance this Memorial Day weekend in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. The premier event in the IZOD IndyCar Series is scheduled for this Sunday (May 26). Indianapolis native and veteran IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter will lead this year’s field to the green flag.
Carpenter finished fifth during regular qualifying with a lap time of 228.762 mph. He secured the pole by winning the Fast Nine Shootout held last Saturday (May 18). First-time Indy 500 entrant Carlos Munoz and veteran Marco Andretti will join Carpenter in the front row.
A name familiar to NASCAR fans will also be making his first-ever start in the 500. A.J. Allmendinger will start in the middle of row two in the fifth spot. Dario Franchitti is a three-time winner and the defending champion at the famed brickyard. He starts in the middle of row six in the 17th starting spot. Two other former champions will also start in the top 20. Helio Castroneves will wheel off in the eighth spot and Scott Dixon starts 16th.
There are four women in this year’s starting grid. Ana Beatriz, Pippa Mann, Simona de Silvestro and Katherine Legge. Each of them will try to be the first woman ever to take home the Borg-Warner trophy and drink the traditional glass of milk in the winner’s circle. If any of them are successful in capturing the checkered flag, they will have to do so by coming from back in the field. Silvestro starts 24th. The other three are starting in the final two rows. Beatriz and Mann are in row 10. Legge captured the final spot and will start 33rd.
“The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will air on ABC television. Green flag is scheduled to wave at 12:12 p.m.
From the May 22-28, 2013, issue