IndyCar setup sheet: Indianapolis 500

IndyCar setup sheet: Indianapolis 500
IndyCar setup sheet: Indianapolis 500

What: 107th Indianapolis 500 / Race 6 of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series

Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ind.

When: Sunday, May 28, 11:00am ET (green flag 12:30pm ET)

It’s the big one, the race they all want to win — the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Over 500 miles, 200 laps and 800 turns of Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon, May 28, 33 drivers will battle it out to determine whose face will be added in perpetuity to the Borg-Warner Trophy. Will it be one of the nine former winners in the starting lineup, or will The Brickyard choose a first timer to drink the milk in Victory Lane?

Either way, they’ll need to beat perhaps the closest, most-competitive field in the history of the Indy 500. You can make a compelling case for at least a dozen drivers, but to be in with a shot when the intensity levels rise and the laps wind down toward that final shootout requires an afternoon of inch-perfect, 220mph-plus decision making, flawless execution on the track and in the pits, and perhaps a modicum of luck, too. 

And winning means staying ahead of the track and its ever-changing conditions, too. They may look very similar, but each of IMS’s four quarter-mile long, nine-degree banked turns has its own challenges, thanks to ever-changing wind speed and direction, track temperature, and even the way they look to a driver when race day’s packed grandstands can make Turn 1 feel like threading a needle.  

Chip Ganassi Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing and Arrow McLaren each put a car on the front row, with the rest of Ganassi and McLaren’s four-car fleets packing out much of the top 12, too. But with AJ Foyt Racing placing both of its entries in the top 12, no single team dominated in qualifying. 

Come race day, expect Team Penske’s three-car attack and Andretti Autosport’s five entries to be factors, too. And, of course, never, ever rule out Meyer Shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves as he pursues a record-stretching fifth Indy 500 win. 

You can follow all the action from Carb Day’s final practice session on Peacock on Friday, May 26, with NBC taking over for the race on Sunday, May 28. And to get even closer to it all, grab the best seat in the house with the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA and its 15 race day live onboard cameras.   

TUNE IN

Friday, May 26 / 11:00am – 1:00pm ET – Final Practice (Carb Day) – Peacock

Friday, May 26 / 2:30pm – 4:00pm ET – Pit Stop Competition – Peacock

Sunday, May 28 / 9:00am – 11:00am ET – Pre-race – Peacock

Sunday, May 28 / 11:00am – 4:00pm ET – RACE – NBC, Peacock

Monday, May 29 / 8:00pm – 11:00pm ET – Victory Celebration – Peacock 

* All sessions and the race are also available as audio commentary on SiriusXM and INDYCAR Radio. Tune in, too, to the pre-race show on SiriusXM and INDYCAR Radio, 10:00am — 11:00am ET on Sunday, May 28.  

Ride along with the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA

Taking you inside the action, 15 drivers will be carrying in-car cameras. During the race, you can live-stream every one of them with the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA. You choose who you ride along with, and you can switch drivers at any time. The App’s free to download for fans worldwide and you can find out more HERE. If you’re not already onboard, take your viewing experience to a whole new level HERE.

Bringing you the onboard action from the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 are…

Rinus VeeKay / No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Starts 2nd / Best Indy 500 finish: 8th (2021)

Three consecutive front-row slots and never starting lower than fourth in his four Months of May at Indy says the Dutchman (below) has got qualifying for the Indy 500 buttoned down. Now it’s time to put a big result on the board on race day. VeeKay led 32 laps on the way to eighth in 2021, and it won’t be a surprise to see him running hard and leading early laps again. But staying in the mix and being in the frame for those ultra-intense, final 20 laps is what counts.   

Felix Rosenqvist / No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Starts 3rd / Best Indy 500 finish: 4th (2022)

Rosenqvist started eight last year, didn’t lead a lap, but made enough of the right moves to come home fourth. Starting from the inside of the second row in 2023, and with Arrow McLaren looking a match for Ganassi on race pace, this could be a big day for the Swede.   

Pato O’Ward / No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Starts 5th / Best Indy 500 finish: 2nd (2022)

O’Ward’s an Indy 500 win just waiting to happen. After sixth, fourth then second in his first three starts, can this be his year? He’s an Indy 500 natural who reads the race like a multi-year veteran — pushing when he needs to, but patient when it’s required. Last year, ice-cool Marcus Ericsson held off O’Ward in a late-race restart; this time around, don’t bet against the spectacular Mexican driving into Victory Lane.  

Scott Dixon / No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Starts 6th / Best Indy 500 finish: WIN (2008) 

Without his pit-lane lockup and speeding penalty last year, we’d probably be asking if Dixon can join the Indy 500’s three-time winners’ club in 2023. Before his costly error, Ganassi’s enduring talisman led 95 laps and looked a shoo-in to add to his solitary 2008 win. Instead, the Kiwi stumbled upon another way to lose one… They say the Indy 500 picks its winners, and should it decide to give him the second win he surely deserves it’s going to be a hugely popular choice. Rest assured, Dixon (below) will be doing everything he can to make it a no-brainer of a decision…    

  

Alexander Rossi / No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Starts 7th / Best Indy 500 finish: WIN (2016) 

After winning the “500” as a rookie in 2016, Rossi’s finished top five in three of the next six. His move from Andretti Autosport to Arrow McLaren for 2023 hasn’t delivered a defining result just yet, but starting seventh on Sunday, and with the patience and experience to be right there when it’s time to kick it up a notch, this could be it.       

Will Power / No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet
Starts 12th / Best Indy 500 finish: WIN (2018) 

Team Penske’s been a beat behind when it comes to outright pace this Month of May, but Power’s form running race day levels of downforce in last Monday’s practice says he’s likely to be a factor over 500 miles on Sunday. Starting 12th isn’t great, but if he stays in sync with some of the more obvious favorites, he could be right there at the sharp end for the shootout. If so, the Aussie knows how to win one of these things.     

Scott McLaughlin / No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet
Starts 14th / Best Indy 500 finish: 20th (2021)

He’s a phenom and a factor at just about every other track on the NTT IndyCar Series schedule, but the IMS oval has felt like a track where McLaughlin (below) is having to pay his dues. A pit-lane penalty on his 2021 debut and a wind-assisted crash last year mean we haven’t seen the best of this Kiwi at the Brickyard. But, like teammate Power, he should have a strong race car and could easily work his way into contention — circumstances permitting.  

  

Kyle Kirkwood / No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda

Starts 15th / Best Indy 500 finish: 17th (2022 – first start) 

On the one hand, Kirkwood’s second Indy 500 start — his first with Andretti — is all about building experience and finding his Indy 500 groove. But on the other hand, with a decent car under him and a clean, stay-in-touch first 150 laps, he could be one of Sunday’s surprise packages when it comes down to shootout time.      

Helio Castroneves / No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Starts 20th / Best Indy 500 finish: WIN x 4 (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021) 

OK, starting 20th isn’t ideal for the guy (below) looking to take sole ownership of the Indy 500 win record with a fifth victory. But he did finish second from 19th in 2017 and seventh from 27th last year, so who knows? Nobody in the field has more IMS experience and smarts than Helio, and even if you don’t really notice him in the first 100 or so laps, there will be a moment when he’s suddenly on the radar. Is he one of the pre-race favorites? Not really. Will he work his way into contention over 200 laps on Sunday? Hey, it’s Helio Castroneves we’re talking about here, so stay tuned.  

Colton Herta / No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda 

Starts 21st / Best Indy 500 finish: 8th (2020)

After going upside down on Carb Day and having to switch to his backup car, Herta’s 2022 Indy 500 was one to forget. A 21st-place start this time around isn’t the greatest of jump-offs, but he’s got the experience — and patience — to work his way into the reckoning if Andretti Autosport’s race day setup is somewhere in the ballpark. A win might be a long shot, but in the lead pack with 50 miles to go and anything’s possible.       

Simon Pagenaud / No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Starts 22nd / Best Indy 500 finish: WIN (2019) 

With four top-10 finishes, including a dominant 2019 win, in his last five Indy 500 starts, the Frenchman knows exactly what’s needed to play the long game, keep in touch, and be there when it counts. Sure, Meyer Shank Racing hasn’t been up there on speed this Month of May, but it knows how to execute come race day. Like his teammate, Helio Castroneves, don’t be surprised to see Pagenaud entering the frame as the laps tick off. 

Agustin Canapino / No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Starts 26th / Best Indy 500 finish: Rookie 

Little could have prepared Canapino for the Month of May at Indy, and all that it entails. But the Argentinian tin-top ace has been hugely impressive so far, building confidence and speed from the get-go. Yes, 500 miles of dirty air, changing track conditions, zero margin for error, and an intensity like nothing else in racing takes it to a whole new level, but that’s unlikely to faze him. A Rookie of the Year contender? Well, of course. But something more? Ride along and see for yourself…      

Katherine Legge / No. 44 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Starts 29th / Best Indy 500 finish: 22nd (2012)

It’s been a decade since Legge’s last Indy 500 start, but the IMSA GT ace has dialed herself back in like she’s never been away. Despite RLL’s performance travails, the Brit qualified best of its four-car entry and avoided the ignominy of Bump Day. A coming together with Stefan Wilson in Monday’s final practice session before Carb Day (below) has put Legge on the back foot, with the No. 44 car undergoing a significant rebuild, but expect her to settle in quickly on Sunday, with a career-best Indy 500 finish a very distinct possibility.   

Christian Lundgaard / No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Starts 30th / Best Indy 500 finish: 18th (2022 – first start)

Like all of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s entries, Lundgaard’s No. 45 machine has been frustratingly short of ultimate speed, with the Dane forced to go through the torture of Bump Day qualifying to secure his starting spot. But past form says RLL could be a relatively different proposition on race day, with a decent balance and on-point strategy giving Lundgaard the chance to work his way up.       

Jack Harvey / No. 30 Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Starts 32nd / Best Indy 500 finish: 9th (2020)

Was it Einstein who said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Well, in the case of Harvey, doing the same thing over and over squeaked him into the 107th Indianapolis 500, his perseverance winning out over RLL’s collective lack of speed. That’s pretty much a win in itself, but like teammates Legge and Lundgaard, race day is a reset and restart. If the Brit can summon more of that cussedness and grit to stay on the lead lap through the early phases, then stay out of trouble as the intensity levels rise, don’t rule him out of a top-15 finish…or better.         

The INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA is free to download and access, so don’t miss out – CLICK HERE to get started.


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