Indy 500: What you need to know

The 2021 Indianapolis 500 will start 02:45 AEST tomorrow morning. Picture: Joe Skibinski

The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 is just about upon us.

It will be contested by the fastest field in event history, making for a stunning spectacle; here’s what you need to know.


Most important of all, the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will start 02:45 AEST.

Based on recent editions, the 200-lap, 500-mile race should take about three hours in total, making for a finish in the vicinity of 05:45 AEST (note it could be earlier than that though, given Simon Pagenaud won the 2019 race in a tick over two hours and 50 minutes).


Fox Sports 506, Kayo Sports and Foxtel Now will provide live coverage of the race, with Australia’s Leigh Diffey leading the commentary.


Aside from double points towards the series standings and the prestige of winning the 500, there’s a fair dose of prizemoney up for grabs.

The winner receives about 20 percent of the total prize purse, likely to be a multi-million-dollar payday.


Written left to right as inside, middle, outside:

Row 1: Scott Dixon, Colton Herta, Rinus VeeKay

Row 2: Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan, Alex Palou

Row 3: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Marcus Ericsson

Row 4: Alexander Rossi, Ed Jones, Pat O’Ward

Row 5: Pietro Fittipaldi, Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato

Row 6: James Hinchcliffe, Scott McLaughlin, Graham Rahal

Row 7: Conor Daly, Jack Harvey, Josef Newgarden

Row 8: JR Hildebrand, Santino Ferrucci, Juan Pablo Montoya

Row 9: Marco Andretti, Simon Pagenaud, Sebastien Bourdais

Row 10: Stefan Wilson, Max Chilton, Dalton Kellett

Row 11: Sage Karam, Will Power, Simona De Silvestro

A train of cars headed by Ryan Hunter-Reay


The 33-car field is made up of:

  • 17 Hondas and 16 Chevrolets
  • 15 different nationalities of drivers: US (11); Brazil, UK (both three); Canada, France, New Zealand, Sweden (all two), Australia, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UAE (one each)
  • Two rookies: Fittipaldi and McLaughlin
  • Nine previous Indy 500 winners: Castroneves (three); Montoya (two), Sato (two); Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan, Pagenaud, Power and Rossi (one)
  • Seven drivers with Formula 1 experience: Ericsson, Rossi, Fittipaldi, Sato, Montoya, Bourdais, Chilton

2015 Indy 500 podium finisher Charlie Kimball and rookie RC Enerson failed to qualify for the race.

Danica Patrick will drive the pace car.

Should Castroneves win the race, he would become the first non-American four-time Indy 500 winner (no driver of any nationality has won the race more than four times).

No team has won the 500 more than Team Penske’s 18; in fact, the Andretti stable is next closest with six.

Honda has led eight of the nine full-field sessions leading up to the race.


Odds as at 17:00 AEST, May 30 (via Sportsbet)

$4.33 – Dixon

$8 – Herta

$8.50 – O’Ward

$13 – Rossi, Newgarden

$15 – Palou, Kanaan

$17 – Rahal, VeeKay

$18 – Sato

$21 – Pagenaud

$23 – Ericsson, McLaughlin

$26 – Carpenter, Hunter-Reay, Power

$31 – Montoya

$41 – Castroneves

$51 – Daly, Rosenqvist, Andretti, Ferrucci

$71 – Jones, Harvey, Hinchcliffe

$126 – Bourdais

$151 – Karam

$176 – Fittipaldi, Wilson

$226 – Hildebrand

$501 – Kellett, Chilton, De Silvestro


CLICK HERE for Indy 500 spotter guide

CLICK HERE for Diffey’s race preview

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