INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Five drivers to watch during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
Castroneves has put his car on Victory Lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway three-times (2001, 2002, 2009) and with a fourth win would join the Brickyard’s most exclusive club.
A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, three giants of American motorsport, are the only four-time winners of the 500 and the aging group has not welcomed a new member since 1991.
The bubbly Brazilian was denied his place in the record books last year when American Ryan Hunter-Reay powered past him at the start of the final lap and won by less than a car length apart.
Part of the powerhouse Penske stable, Castroneves qualified fifth fastest and will start in the middle of Row Two.
Dixon will launch his bid for a second Indy 500 title from where he won his first in 2008 - the pole.
A three-time IndyCar champion, New Zealander has been one of the series’ most consistent performers, posting a least one victory in 12 of the past 13 seasons, including win number 35 this year.
The Andrettis may be the first family of American motorsport but when it comes to the Indianapolis 500, the clan has known mostly hard luck.
Marco, grandson of Mario Andretti, will try to end what has become known as the Andretti Curse at the Brickyard when he takes the green flag for the 10th time.
Mario raced in 29 Indy 500s, winning in 1969, while his son Michael holds the distinction of having led more laps at the Brickyard than any other driver never to win the race.
Marco has finished second once and third three times.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Carpenter is the hometown favorite and the last two years has launched his bid for a win from the pole.
His quest to become the first driver to win three straight poles ended with a crash but he will still start from Row Four after qualifying 12th.
The reigning series champion, Power has won just about everything there is to win in IndyCar but the 500 has remained an elusive dream.
In seven Indy 500s, Power started from the first two rows five times but finished in the top five (fifth 2009) just once.
Power will start from Row One and underlined his status as a 500 favorite by clocking the top speed in final practice.
Reporting by Steve Keating, Editing by Gene Cherry