Indy 500
May 24

Indy 500 Preview: Wide-Open Field Ready To Battle For Glory

The 33-driver field for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 is stacked with talent from all aspects of racing. (Photo: Getty Images)

The 33-driver field for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 is stacked with talent from all aspects of racing. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s a wide-open field in Sunday’s 98th Indianapolis 500. So wide open, in fact, that it’s hard to see a clear-cut favorite in the field of 33 drivers that will celebrate at the end of the race in the most famous Victory Lane in all of racing.

It’s also a race loaded with storylines.

is the defending winner of the Indianapolis 500 and he starts way back in 16th place after struggling in qualifying with his Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet. But Kanaan’s confidence on race day will be high after he was the fastest driver in the final practice session known as Carb Day on Friday at the .

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May 23

IndyCar: Montoya Not Fazed By Magnitude Of Indianapolis 500

Juan Pablo Montoya is feeling confident heading into the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. (Photo: Getty Images)

is feeling confident heading into the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. (Photo: Getty Images)

One of the things that separate Juan Pablo Montoya from other race drivers is his cocky attitude. The driver from Colombia just doesn’t care what other people think about him; he only cares what his team thinks.

“Tony Stewart is the American version of me,” Montoya admitted. “We don’t take anything off anyone. We have mutual respect.

“I just drive the fricking car.”

And boy, did he ever drive that car in the 2000 Indianapolis 500 when the 1999 CART champion blistered the field of Indy Racing League regulars, leading 167 of 200 laps to become the first rookie winner of the since Graham Hill in 1966.

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May 23

Top Five Indy 500s: No. 2 – Fittipaldi Outduel Unser Jr. To Win 1989 Race

There comes a moment of truth in a race driver’s life where danger doesn’t matter – it’s a chance to win the biggest race of their career and they aren’t about to flinch.

In the 1989 Indianapolis 500 Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser, Jr. were faced with that moment as they sped down the backstretch side-by-side, wheel-to-wheel, on Lap 198 with the checkered flag set to fly on Lap 200. The previous 13 laps were a thrilling duel, unlike any ever seen before in the closing stages of the Indianapolis 500. Each driver daringly took the lead from the other until the “Moment of Truth” faced each driver squarely in the face.

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May 23

IndyCar: Ganassi Finds Speed In Final Indy 500 Practice

Tony Kanaan was fastest in the final Indy 500 practice with a lap of 227.838 mph. (Photo: LAT Photographic)

was fastest in the final practice with a lap of 227.838 mph. (Photo: LAT Photographic)

insists that Ganassi Racing wasn’t trying to bamboozle anybody.

After struggling last week and failing to put a car in the fast nine for qualifying, the team led by defending Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan staged a rally on Carb Day. Kanaan was left atop the leaderboard Friday with a lap of 227.838 mph, while Dixon was next-fastest at 227.773 mph.

“We definitely didn’t do it on purpose,” said Dixon, who will start in the middle of the fourth row Sunday. “We would like to roll out straightaway and be quick. I think we are normally.”

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May 23

Highs And Lows: History Of The Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 Double

Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champ, will compete in his first Indianapolis 500 before flying to Charlotte for that night's Coca-Cola 600. (Photo: Getty Images)

, the 2004 Cup Series champ, will compete in his first Indianapolis 500 before flying to Charlotte for that night’s Coca-Cola 600. (Photo: Getty Images)

For more than a decade, the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s World 600 — now known as the Coca-Cola 600 — in Charlotte were held on different days, setting the stage for Cale Yarborough to make history in 1967 as the first driver to complete both races in one year.

But since both and NASCAR have raced on the same day, the feat of running in both events has been pulled off eight times by three different drivers. Kurt Busch will attempt to add to that list Sunday, as the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion makes his first start at .

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