The 33-car entry list for the 106th running of the Indy 500 is finally set. Here’s our way-too-early prediction for the starting lineup of IndyCar’s biggest race.
Following Thursday’s announcement, it has finally been confirmed that the 106th running of the Indy 500, the sixth of 17 races on the 2022 IndyCar schedule, will not be the first Indy 500 since 1947 to feature fewer than 33 cars.
In an effort involving Cusick Motorsports and DragonSpeed (as well as A.J. Foyt Enterprises), three-time Indy 500 starter Stefan Wilson is set to drive the #25 Chevrolet.
This entry is one of only seven cars on the entry list for this year’s running of the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval that is not a full-time entry.
So how will the starting lineup look?
With 33 cars on the entry list, there is a one in 8.68 undecillion of this list being exactly correct. But let’s save the precision for qualifying day and get started with our predictions.
NOTE: (R) denotes Indy 500 rookie, not necessarily IndyCar rookie. This is not the official Indy 500 lineup.
Indy 500 qualifying – Fast Six shootout
1. Scott Dixon, #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
If Chip Ganassi Racing’s pace in the test was anything to go by, look for Scott Dixon to take his fifth Indy 500 pole and fourth in eight years.
2. Ed Carpenter, #33 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Few things are more certain than Ed Carpenter and Ed Carpenter Racing dominating Indy 500 qualifying. Look for a sixth front row start in 10 years for the hometown hero.
3. Rinus VeeKay, #21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
The #21 Chevrolet has started in the top nine for eight straight Indy 500s. No other car is on a streak of more than two. In two starts, Rinus VeeKay has started no worse than fourth place.
4. Alex Palou, #10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
In two starts, Alex Palou has not started lower than seventh place. But surely his focus will be more on race day and finishing one spot higher than he did last year.
5. Josef Newgarden, #2 Team Penske Chevrolet
After two years of struggling, Team Penske seem to be on the right track with their superspeedway speed. Josef Newgarden should benefit as he looks to add the one thing missing from his IndyCar resume.
6. Will Power, #12 Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power almost not making it into the Indy 500 last year should be a distant memory by the time the green flag flies.