There's a new favorite to win the Indy 500, and he's not from Team Penske

A new betting favorite to win the 108th running of the Indy 500 has emerged, and it's not any one of the three Team Penske drivers.
Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar
Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar / Joe Timmerman/IndyStar / USA TODAY

After Saturday's full field qualifying session for the 108th running of the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, four drivers were listed by DraftKings Sportsbook as co-favorites to win next Sunday afternoon's edition of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

Those drivers, all listed at +700, were the three Team Penske drivers -- Josef Newgarden, Will Power, and Scott McLaughlin -- and McLaren-Hendrick's Kyle Larson.

None of the four drivers had, at any point, been a favorite or co-favorite for this year's 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Speedway, Indiana before qualifying.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Alex Palou had been the favorite after having been the co-favorite with Arrow McLaren's Pato O'Ward for a while leading into practice week.

Now one of those four drivers has established himself as the favorite at +650: Kyle Larson.

Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, has never before competed in an IndyCar race and is attempting to become the fifth driver to run the Memorial Day Double, first by competing in the Indy 500 and then by flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600. Just one driver, Tony Stewart in 2001, has ever run all 1,100 miles on the same day.

Larson finished Saturday's qualifying session with the sixth best average speed (full results here) over a four-lap run, while the Team Penske trio swept the top three, led by Power. Roger Penske's drivers also swept the top three over a four-lap run during the Fast Friday practice session, led by Newgarden.

It was actually Alexander Rossi, not Larson, who led Arrow McLaren in fourth place. At +900, Rossi is listed behind the Team Penske trio (all still at +700) and O'Ward (+800). The top six favorites all advanced to the Top 12 qualifying session on Sunday afternoon.

Palou has seen his odds move from +400 to +1000. He is still listed with the shortest odds among those who did not advance to the Top 12 session. Ahead of his fifth Indy 500, he qualified in a career-worst 14th place, which was still the top effort among Chip Ganassi Racing's five-car team.

Teammate Scott Dixon, a five-time Indy 500 polesitter who is set to make his 22nd Indy 500 start, qualified in a career-worst 21st.

Sunday qualifying set

Team Penske's drivers remain the heavy favorites to take the Indy 500 pole position in today's Firestone Fast Six qualifying session, which will include the fastest six drivers in the preceding Top 12 session.

A full qualifying order can be found here.

Over a combined 32 Indy 500 starts, none of Team Penske's three drivers have ever started the race on pole. Power has the most poles in IndyCar history, but he has never taken one for the biggest race on the calendar.

Power won the Indy 500 in 2018, while Newgarden won it last year and is attempting to become the first driver to win it in back-to-back years since Helio Castroneves did it in his first two starts back in 2001 and 2002.

None of the 12 drivers still in the running for this year's Indy 500 pole have ever started the race from the top spot.

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NBC is set to provide live coverage of Indy 500 qualifying from Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Live race coverage is also set to be provided by NBC beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET next Sunday, May 26. Start a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss any of the action!