IndyCar: Way-too-early Indy 500 favorite emerges before testing

Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The Indy 500 open test is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday. Who is the favorite to win IndyCar’s biggest and most prestigious race?

There may be another race on the schedule before the NTT IndyCar Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for official on-track action, beginning with the road course race on Saturday, May 13 and culminating with the 107th running of the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 28.

But before the race at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 30, the drivers and cars set to compete in this year’s running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing are set to turn laps around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) in the Racing Capital of the World.

The Indy 500 open test is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21. There are 34 cars on this year’s entry list, ensuring that one of the entrants will not get the opportunity to compete in the 200-lap race on Memorial Day Weekend.

Before IndyCar teams start to get a feel for where they stand, Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward has emerged as the way-too-early favorite to win this year’s Indy 500.

O’Ward’s odds are listed at +600 (bet $100 to win $600) on DraftKings Sportsbook. He has finished in the top six in each of the last three Indy 500s after failing to qualify for the race in his first attempt back in 2019.

He finished in a career-high second place last year after nearly pulling off an outside pass in turn one on eventual winner Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing on the final lap.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, the 2008 winner, has been the favorite for each of the last three Indy 500s. He started and finished in second place in 2020, but he was unable to finish where he started in 2021 or 2022.

Issues in the pits for the polesitter, including an unforced speeding penalty late in last year’s race, kept the six-time series champion from being in contention to win the race for a second time. The penalty last year, quite frankly, cost him both a second Indy 500 win and a seventh championship, when it was all said and done. He is listed second at +650.

Here are the way-too-early Indy 500 odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren: +600
  • Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: +650
  • Josef Newgarden, Team Penske: +800
  • Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport: +900
  • Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske: +1000
  • Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1100
  • Will Power, Team Penske: +1200
  • Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1400
  • Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren: +1500
  • Tony Kanaan, Arrow McLaren: +2000
  • Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi Racing: +2000
  • Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport: +2000
  • Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +2500
  • Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing: +2500
  • Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren: +2500
  • Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing: +2500
  • Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing: +3000
  • Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing: +3000
  • Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport: +3000
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: +4000
  • David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports: +4000
  • Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing: +4000
  • Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport: +5000
  • Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +5000
  • Stefan Wilson, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with Cusick Motorsports: +6000
  • Sting Ray Robb (R), Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing: +8000
  • Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +8000
  • Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +8000
  • Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +10000
  • Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport: +15000
  • Benjamin Pedersen (R), A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +20000
  • Agustin Canapino (R), Juncos Hollinger Racing: +20000
  • Katherine Legge, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +20000

Odds and availability subject to change. Sign up with DraftKings to bet now and take advantage of their current special promotion!

R.C. Enerson, who is set to compete for Abel Motorsports, is the only driver on the entry list who is not listed here. Whenever he is added, he will likely be listed at +20000. Abel Motorsports have never competed in an IndyCar race, and Enerson’s lone Indy 500 attempt came in 2021, when he failed to qualify with Top Gun Racing.

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The Indy 500 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Indianapolis Motor Speedway beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 28. Sign up for FuboTV today and don’t miss it!