Eight Former Winners, Five Series Champs Ready To Start ‘500’ Preparation

– Preparations for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will start this week with a field consisting of eight former winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and five NTT INDYCAR SERIES champions.

There are 34 entries set to contest the 33 starting spots for this year’s edition of the “500.” Practice is scheduled to start Tuesday, May 14, with PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying on May 18-19. All track activity on the historic 2.5-mile oval leads into Race Day, Sunday, May 26.

SEE: Entry List

Josef Newgarden earned his first career “500” victory last May after passing 2022 winner Marcus Ericsson on the final lap after a late red flag created a one-lap shootout for a spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy and racing immortality. That was the record-extending 19th “500” victory for Team Penske.

Other former winners aiming for a spot in the race this year include four-time winner Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021) and two-time winner Takuma Sato (2017, 2020), plus single winners Scott Dixon (2008), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014), Alexander Rossi (2016) and Will Power (2018). The record for winners in one field is 10, set in 1992.

Castroneves earned a spot with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears in the most prestigious club in motorsports – four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500 – with his emotional victory in 2021, for Meyer Shank Racing. A record-breaking fifth would put Castroneves alone at the top with most victories. Additionally, Castroneves is 49 years old, and a victory would make him the oldest winner in “500” history, a record held by Al Unser, who won the 1987 edition just five days shy of his 48th birthday.

Newgarden has a chance to become the first back-to-back winner since Castroneves accomplished the feat in 2001 and 2002. If Newgarden secures a repeat win, he will earn a bonus of $440,000 courtesy of BorgWarner, the namesake of the Indy 500 trophy. That amount is more than the entire yearly purse up to and including the 1962 Indianapolis 500, which paid out $425,652.

The field includes five past INDYCAR SERIES champions: Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Newgarden, reigning champion Alex Palou and Power.

2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson will attempt to become the fifth driver to complete the Memorial Day “double” of racing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day, joining John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch. The last driver to complete the feat was Busch in 2014.

Larson is one of seven drivers competing for top rookie honors, along with Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist, Linus Lundqvist, Christian Rasmussen, Nolan Siegel and Kyffin Simpson.

Live Race Day coverage begins on NBC, Peacock, Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network at 11 a.m. (ET), with the green flag set for 12:45 p.m.

2024 ENTRY BREAKDOWN:

Winners (8): Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato

Rookies (7): Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist, Kyle Larson, Linus Lundqvist, Christian Rasmussen, Nolan Siegel, Kyffin Simpson

U.S. drivers (13): Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Kyle Kirkwood, Kyle Larson, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Sting Ray Robb, Alexander Rossi, Nolan Siegel

International drivers (21, from 13 countries): Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist, Agustín Canapino, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Pietro Fittipaldi, Romain Grosjean, Callum Ilott, Katherine Legge, Christian Lundgaard, Linus Lundqvist, Scott McLaughlin, Pato O’Ward, Alex Palou, Will Power, Christian Rasmussen, Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato, Kyffin Simpson, Rinus VeeKay

Engines (34): Honda 18, Chevrolet 16 (all cars use Dallara chassis and Firestone tires)

Indycar Series PR