We are the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers in the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We number 33, one of whom is a female – PIPPA MANN in No.63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.
This year a third of us are Americans – 11. Other countries represented are Colombia and England-4; three each for Australia, and Canada; two each for Brazil and France; and one each for Japan, New Zealand, Russia, and Spain.
Seven drivers are Indy 500 Rookies. Six drivers have won at least one Indianapolis 500, with HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske Chevrolet going for his fourth. One driver, JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/No.2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet won in the only Indy 500 he ran – as a Rookie.
There will three parade laps and one pace lap, led by Indy 500 winner, DARIO FRANCHITTI driving the Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car.
Our youngest driver this race and the youngest-ever qualifier is a teenager yet to actually graduate from High School – SAGE KARAM/No.22 Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing Honda. He is, however, not the youngest ever to start the Indy 500. That honor goes to A.J.FOYT IV in 2003, turning nineteen on Race Day.
Our most veteran driver is BUDDY LAZIER/No.98 Lazier Partners Racing Chevrolet at 46. There are several other veterans hovering around the late thirties, one who’s passed the big 40 – ORIOL SERVIA/No.16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, and JACQUES VILLENEUVE/No.5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, who last raced the Indy 500 in 1995, is 43..
We are the fastest Indy 500 drivers in a single race. Our average qualifying speed was 229.382 mph. We are the tightly competitive field, with only 2.1509 seconds separating Pole to Last, and the second closest field with a speed separation of 3.147 mph.
WILL POWER/No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet leads the standings with 149 points, closely followed by 2012 Champion, RYAN HUNTER-REAY/No.28 Andretti Autosport Honda-148; HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske Chevrolet-143; and 2013 Champion SCOTT DIXON.No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet-143.
Fourteen drivers have come up via the Indy Lights Series: – MARCO ANDRETTI, ED CARPENTER, JAMES DAVISON, JACK HAWKSWORTH, JR HILDEBRAND, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, SAGE KARAM, CHARLIE KIMBALL, PIPPA MANN, CARLOS MUNOZ, JOSEF NEWGARDEN, MATIN PLOWMAN, GRAHAM RAHAL and SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA.